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Mayo Clinic Finds Phages May Treat Prosthetic Joint Infections

July 30, 2020

Mayo Clinic Finds Phages May Treat Prosthetic Joint Infections

Bacteriophages, or phages, may play a significant role in treating complex bacterial infections in prosthetic joints, according to new Mayo Clinic research.

  The findings suggest phage therapy could provide a potential treatment for managing such infections, including those involving antibiotic-resistant microbes. The research is published in the July issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases (CID). Phages are naturally occurring viruses found throughout the earth that target and kill specific bacterial cells, including those that have grown resistant to multiple antibiotics. Although phage therapy is new to Mayo Clinic, the bacterial predators were discovered more than a century ago, predating antibiotics. e usual treatment for prosthetic joint infection is antibiotics and surgery. When those fail, there can be suffering, loss of the limb, or even death. Phage therapy promises to change that. The first phage treatment at Mayo Clinic was in June 2019 and saved the limb of a male patient who had been facing possible amputation. He is now asymptomatic and has experienced no adverse effects.
   —Please see https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/phage-therapy-shows-potential-for-treating-prosthetic-joint-infections/ for the full discussion of this.