Archive for May 15th, 2012

Small Things Considered: Are Phages the Answer?

15 May, 2012

See on Scoop.itVirology News

by S. Marvin Friedman

“The emergence of multiple drug-resistant bacterial strains, the prevalence of recalcitrant biofilm configurations, and the reluctance of the pharmaceutical industry to initiate new antibiotic discovery programs have led to the development of a formidable population of bacterial pathogens that is increasingly difficult to control. After a long but successful era of research that had all but eliminated serious threats from bacterial infections, we are now facing this dire problem once again. In response, researchers have recently been exploring alternative approaches to antibiotic therapy including identifying chemical agents that antagonize quorum sensing and thus prevent population-wide expression of virulence genes, as well as employing either intact bacteriophages or their isolated lysins to directly kill their pathogenic bacterial hosts. Lysins kill Gram-positive bacteria by hydrolyzing the peptidoglycan in the cell wall, thereby causing cell lysis. Gram-negative bacteria are immune to their action because their outer membrane does not allow the lysins access to their peptidoglycan. I will now summarize two recent papers that use intact phages to combat two important bacterial pathogens, both in vitro and in vivo.”

 

As a new-minted phage enthusiast, and a fan of Small Things Considered, I am more than happy to reblog this.  I think phages may well be the answer to multiply- or extreme-resistant bugs, and in the long term will probably prove to be a better answer than antibiotics in general.

 

After all, they can evolve – and penicillin can’t.  Moreover, we can select them out of the environment and then select them rigorously in the lab, to pretty much get anything we want.

 

You gotta love viruses…B-)

See on schaechter.asmblog.org

Apple Goes To Kaspersky For Virus Advice

15 May, 2012

See on Scoop.itVirology News

Apple is no longer the safe choice for computer shoppers as various malicious software downloads have become available over the last several months.

 

I watch and wait nervously….

See on www.inquisitr.com

Taking Truvada to Prevent H.I.V. Also Comes With Risks

15 May, 2012

See on Scoop.itVirology News

Taking Truvada daily can help people in at-risk groups prevent H.I.V. infection, but the consequences of loose adherence go beyond contracting the virus.

A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration took a historic step last week when they recommended that the agency for the first time approve a drug that healthy people can take once a day to prevent H.I.V. infection.
Such a pill has long been a goal of research, something that might help stem a global epidemic that is still causing two million new worldwide cases each year, including 50,000 in the United States.

But the panel members worried about how to make sure doctors and patients would use the drug correctly. Otherwise, they said, the potential harm could be huge — not just to those taking the pill, but also to their sexual partners.

 

While this is a very important step towards preventing HIV infection, it is equally important to remember that it IS only a step – and not the final solution.  Condoms remain the better option, in that a barrier is better than a drug; however, the chemical option may help curb the spread of the virus where other measures have not.

 

Until we get vaccines!!

See on www.nytimes.com