Medicine from river

Gomel Medical University discovers therapeutic viruses in river water, which can destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria

By Stanislav Galkovsky

Gomel Medical University discovers therapeutic viruses in river water, which can destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria


The rivers Pripyat, Sozh and Dnieper are donating new virus-bacteriophages: ‘devourers of bacteria’. A team from the Department of Microbiology, Virology and Immunology, at Gomel State Medical University, has made the discovery — led by Dmitry Tapalsky. He tells us, “Bacteriophages were discovered at the beginning of the last century. They are as dangerous to bacteria as AIDS is to humans. Fortunately, for people, they aren’t dangerous. Using these viruses, the team has begun creating medicines. With the discovery of antibiotics, in the USA and Europe, production of bacteriophages stopped. However, it continued in the USSR and they are actually produced in Russia and sold in pharmacies. Our discovery is unique, since new viruses have been discovered which can kill bacteria immune to antibiotics.”

In particular, the new ‘virus-helpers’ are effective against such infections as Klebsiella, Salmonella and Pseudomonas Aureginosa. The Department co-operates with the Microgen Russian State Scientific-Production Association and various new cultures of bacteriophage medicines have been created, being now put into production at a branch of Microgen, in Perm.
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