The Institute of Chemical Biology and Fundamental Medicine of SB of RAS (ICBFM SB RAS) is developing a new generation of therapeutic bacteriophage medications that represent a soft and safe alternative to antibiotics. In particular, they allow saving the patients with diabetic foot syndrome from amputation.
“We now live in what is called the “post-antibiotic era” which, according to the World Health Organization, began in 2005,” said Nina V. Tikunova, the Head of Molecular Microbiology Laboratory at ICBFM SB RAS.
Russia is the only country where bacteriophages are officially approved, industrially manufactured and approved for use in the clinical practice.
“Our Institute is working on creating a new generation of therapeutic bacteriophage medications. This work can be divided into several stages, including the isolation and description of original bacteriophages, using them as the basis to create monospecific (against a specific bacterium) and polyspecific cocktails,” said Ms. Tikunova.
Over the last years, the scientists succeeded in isolating new bacteriophages both against traditional pathogens and against infectious agents that spread recently. It could be said that each bacteriophage received its own passport based on a variety of techniques ranging from full genomic sequencing to studying such traditional parameters, as the reproduction rate and electron micrograph. The cocktails are also being created and described and, in this case, it is important to understand that one bacteriophage does not interfere with another.
The researchers believe that good medications based on bacteriophages will be available in pharmacies as early as 2025. However, whether the clinical medicine will be ready for use is still an open question.