May 9, 2019

A new hope for fighting drug-resistant infections

Researchers said they successfully treated a patient's drug-resistant infection using genetically engineered viruses, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: This is the first reported use of genetically engineered bacteriophages to treat a patient, according to the researchers. If its success can be replicated, that could be a big deal for the effort to tackle drug-resistant infections.


  • The patient's treatment used bacteria-destroying viruses that are called bacteriophages, which occur naturally.
  • The scientists used genetic engineering to tweak the phages to specifically target the patient's infection.

The impact: The UN recently warned that drug resistance could kill 10 million people a year by 2050.

Go deeper: The antibiotics market is falling apart

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