The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Phage Therapy

The Newest Treatment

Modern medicine has rapidly changed since the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world. Not only did it fundamentally change how we can help prevent the spreading sickness by quarantining, wearing masks, and gloves, but it also changed the way we produce cures and treat illnesses. Since COVID-19, vaccines have been mass produced and testing has increased not only to clinic specific testing, but COVID-19 test kits you can utilize at home.

Within two years of a global pandemic that affected modern medicine, millions of dollars were donated for better research, and more efficient ways to use technology to synthesize molecules and cells to help target illness. However, with this new era of medicine, synthesis and vaccines comes issues that have been around for the last decade.With the increased dependency on vaccinations and antibiotics, cells of bacteria, viruses, and parasites have also adapted. Superbugs are strains that become immune to medicines used to treat them. They can be resistant to one, or multiple antibiotics used to treat regular infections and illness. With modern medicine rapidly improving its techniques and technological synthesis, there is a new hope to possibly eradicate superbugs. Phage therapy is the newest anticipated treatment. Although still in clinical development, phage therapy has the potential to treat superbugs.

Phage therapy is used by genetically modifying bacteriophages found everywhere to specifically target and enhance their ability to kill specific cells. Much like a lock and key, phages can only target specific cells that it can open. Without a matching lock, phages cannot harm other cells or bacteria it was not designed to target and destroy.

Many people are afraid of what this might do. The outcomes, the way they work, what it could do, and the many other ways something like this could go wrong.

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The possibility of this treatment turning on us is not likely because, luckily, phages are not harmful to humans. Bacteriophages are so specialized to target specific bacteria that they are not harmful to human cells. When we genetically alter these phages, we can allow them to only target harmful bacteria. Even if this were the case, phage therapy is still in its clinical developmental state where they are still actively monitoring how patients’ bodies react to these types of treatments. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three clinical studies to help fully develop and understand the usage of phage therapy. These three studies are testing the phage’s ability to treat urinary tract infections, cystic fibrosis, and chronic prosthetic infections

As medicine continues to evolve, so will bacteria and viruses. Phage therapy could become the next known treatment for superbugs, illnesses, and even cancer treatments. Its ability to target only certain cells and bacteria could help humans eradicate cancerous cells without harming other existing bacteria in the body with chemotherapy. This treatment can be a new alternative to invasive treatments that harm all cells and bacteria, rather than just foreign antibodies. With the development, study, and clinical testing of phage therapy, this could become the newest cure to the answers we’ve been looking for in modern medicine. 

For more information regarding this new treatment, go to,different%20uses%20of%20bacteriophage%20therapy or


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