To combat this real health scourge, researchers are studying the mechanisms nature uses to destroy bacteria. In a high-security laboratory almost unique in Europe, we will soon develop bacteriophages. These are small viruses that destroy a specific type of bacteria. To produce it, you must first grow the bacteria and then add the phages.
Aline Campenare, Director of the Vésale Bioscience Laboratory, tells us about this innovative strategy: “The virus first infects the bacteria it is interested in, and multiplies in these bacteria. When the bacteria dies, it releases more bacteriophages, which successively infect other bacteria to kill them. Ultimately, we end up with a highly concentrated production of bacteriophage.“.
These bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics
The startup will send diagnostic tests to various European hospitals. Because in order to send the specific bacteriophage the patient needs, you need to know what bacteria it is to identify it. It is a personal treatment and apparently very effective. A pioneer in the field, the company hopes to serve as a reference in Europe.
Gunther van Wesser, CEO of Vésale Bioscience, tells us about the lab’s ambitions: “Here, we will focus on four bacteria. They are already responsible for 70% of bacterial infections in hospitals in Europe. These infections are difficult to treat. These bacteria are resistant to many of the antibiotics available today.“.
As researchers try to control bacterial resistance to antibiotics, the WHO urgently urges states to take measures to control and limit the use of these antimicrobial drugs.