JUN 26, 2020 7:44 AM PDT

Bacterial Virus May Treat and Prevent COVID-19 Infections

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers say that a type of virus known to infect bacteria could be used to treat and prevent COVID-19 bacterial infections.

Known as bacteriophages, these viruses can be used to target and get rid of specific bacteria. A potential alternative to antibiotics, researchers have so far proposed two strategies that could potentially oust bacterial infections in some with COVID-19. 

The first strategy was put forward by Dr. Marcin Wojewodzic, a researcher at the Cancer Registry of Norway. He says that bacteriophages could be used to target secondary bacterial infections in the respiratory system, thought to be a leading cause for high mortality rates from COVID-19. They could be used to both limit bacteria numbers and their spread, giving immune systems more time to generate antibodies capable of fighting of COVID-19 on their own. 

"In the same way that we are used to the concept of 'friendly bacteria', we can harness 'friendly viruses' or 'phages' to help us target and kill secondary bacterial infections caused by a weakened immune system following viral attack from viruses such as COVID-19," says Professor Martha R.J. Clockie, a professor of microbiology at the University of Leicester, England. 

The second proposed method suggests using inexpensive, synthetically altered bacteriophages to manufacture antibodies against COVID-19. These antibodies could then be administered to patients by either nasal or oral spray. 

"This pandemic has shown us the power viruses have to cause harm. However, by using beneficial viruses as an indirect weapon against the SARS-CoV-2 virus and other pathogens, we can harness that power for a positive purpose and use it to save lives", says Wojewodzic.

He has thus called for clinical trials to test both treatment strategies involving bacteriophages. He said that as no intervention alone is capable of eliminating COVID-19, it is necessary to approach the virus from multiple angles and disciplines. 


Sources: Medical Xpress, PHAGE

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
OCT 04, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Zaki syndrome - Pediatric Disorder & Potential Treatment ID'ed
OCT 04, 2021
Zaki syndrome - Pediatric Disorder & Potential Treatment ID'ed
Since it's become quick and relatively inexpensive to sequence a human genome, researchers have gained unprecedented and ...
OCT 14, 2021
Immunology
'Bio-Betters' Form the Next Wave of Cancer Therapies
OCT 14, 2021
'Bio-Betters' Form the Next Wave of Cancer Therapies
  Antibodies are blood proteins with highly specialized functions: to recognize and eliminate bacteria, viruses, an ...
OCT 20, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
A New Approach in Glaucoma Treatment
OCT 20, 2021
A New Approach in Glaucoma Treatment
In the human eye, a space called the anterior chamber sits in between the cornea, which is a clear layer in the front of ...
NOV 04, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
The first FDA approved eye drops to treat presbyopia and correct poor near-vision.
NOV 04, 2021
The first FDA approved eye drops to treat presbyopia and correct poor near-vision.
Your Grandma's favorite eyeglasses may soon find their way to the trashcan. Last Friday, October 29th, the United States ...
NOV 19, 2021
Health & Medicine
Increase in Cannabis Use Disorder in Prenatal Hospitalizations
NOV 19, 2021
Increase in Cannabis Use Disorder in Prenatal Hospitalizations
A recent study by Columbia University and Weill Cornell Medicine researchers found that cannabis use disorder (CUD) in p ...
NOV 29, 2021
Cancer
An Amino Acid Can Improve Radiation Therapy for Metastatic Brain Cancer
NOV 29, 2021
An Amino Acid Can Improve Radiation Therapy for Metastatic Brain Cancer
There are 20 different amino acids that the human body uses to generate proteins.  Amino acids form chains called p ...
Loading Comments...