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a cure for acne exists but the US doesn't CARE!

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#1 njc6

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 02:59 AM

According to this article you can send a sample of the resistant bacteria and if they have a phage they'll give it to you. If not they'll develop it. Its kind of like a service pack to Windows or a patch to a video game. I thought about this after reading my college Bio book for general bio I and wondering why it couldn't be possible to destroy acne this way. Sure enough, it does exist. The article says there is a clinic in Mexico too which is a lot closer than Russia.





U.S. needs to open eyes to 'phage therapy'

Posted 7/6/2006 3:56 PM ET E-mail | Save | Print | Subscribe to stories like this




This week, the Food and Drug Administration approved a medicine called Gardasil as a vaccine against cervical cancer. A vaccine for cancer. Roll that one around your head for a few minutes.
Sure, genetics research is getting a lot of press, but medical breakthroughs of a different sort are also occurring. And — if we're lucky — one such revolution might change the way we treat infections.

Bacteria do a lot more than infect wounds. Some cause ulcers. Others cause cavities or heart disease. And that's just the beginning of what we're learning. Unfortunately, our reckless use of antibiotics has led to those bacteria evolving into drug-resistant strains that even powerful stuff like Vancomycin can't treat.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 50 people die in the U.S. every day from antibiotic-resistant infections, many of them from Staph — that's Staphylococcus aureus— they pick up in hospitals.

Scientifically, though, there's hope — that is, if politics and economics don't quash it. As infections get worse and harder to handle, a medical treatment largely abandoned by Western Europe and the Americas might make a comeback.

It's called phage therapy.

Killer bugs

Phages, short for bacteriophages, are viruses that kill bacteria. There are millions of them, found just about everywhere in nature.

Each phage has a 'target' bacteria it can infect. The phage for E. coli, for example (it's called "bacteriophage T4"), will only kill E. coli. That makes phages an incredibly powerful, natural, narrow-target antibiotic. And, unlike traditional antibiotics, bacteria can't evolve a resistance to phages; the phages evolve right along with them.

Phages have been used for a long time — since about 1915 in fact, and were soon regarded as an effective treatment for infection (they were discovered independently by English, French-Canadian, and Georgian doctors). American pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly was even making them for a time.

Then, in 1941, penicillin hit the market.

Hit the market in the West, that is, where it was regarded as well-nigh miraculous, putting phages out of business. But there was a long-term price for the miracle: Our reliance on antibiotics soon caught up with us. Stronger antibiotics forced bacteria to evolve into drug-resistant strains.

In the Soviet Union, though, cut off in large part from Western science, phages were still the primary means of treating a bacterial infection. In fact, until the 1980s you could go to a clinic in most Soviet cities and get phage treatment for an infection. (Soviet soldiers even carried a phage powder to treat infections like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid.)

Eventually the Cold War ended and the USSR and its economy collapsed, and with that many Eastern European phage clinics disappeared. Not all, though, and the ones that remained are incredibly popular.

The center of the bacteriophage universe is the former Soviet republic of Georgia, home of the George Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology and Virology. There, you can still buy phages over the counter for common infections, and phage mixtures are updated to combat whatever new bacteria is causing infections.

In 2003, Institute scientists formed a company, Phage Therapy Center, which was bought by a U.S. firm called Phage International.

It operates two clinics, one in Tbilisi, Georgia and one in Tijuana, Mexico, where you can get treatment for a list of bacteria-caused conditions. If they know what bacteria is causing the problem, they'll pick the phage out of the library. If not, you can send in a sample of the bacteria you want to kill, and they'll find a phage for it.

So why don't doctors here take a sample of a superbug — a vancomycin-resistant bacteria — send it to Georgia, and get a phage that kills it? Good question.

Uphill climb

The majority of research into phages was done by Soviet scientists, which was inaccessible — thanks to language and political issues — to most Western scientists. Further, while the Soviets had terrific engineers, their science wasn't great; much of their research wouldn't meet Western standards, so what did make it through the Iron Curtain was given little credence.

Then there are the financial issues. The amount of research and testing required by the FDA is staggering — the Infectious Diseases Society of America estimates it costs $800 million to bring a new antibiotic into the market. And all that money may be for naught. Phages, being naturally occurring, are tough to patent — so profits for pharmaceutical companies are limited.

The regulatory landscape is also daunting, to say the least. A Georgian pharmacy probably won't sell a single phage, it will sell a mix designed to cure what's currently going around — a cocktail. And that cocktail might be different from region to region or even hospital to hospital.

There's a good reason for that. Local strains of an infection might be different, so having the exact phage mix for a particular area makes sense. Further, as new strains emerge, it's just a matter of finding the new phages to deal with them.

That's there. Here, in the U.S., the regulatory system is designed to handle one-size-fits-all drugs, not quickly changing individual meds. The FDA would require every phage to go through a multi-year testing process – by which time the bug may have evolved again.

There is hope, although it may be a while coming here. Besides Phage International, there are a handful of Western companies — Intralytix (in Baltimore), Novolytics (in the U.K.), and GangaGen (in Bangalore, California, and Ontario) — working to bring phage therapy to our market.

There's also the possibility that phages can be used for animals, even if they aren't approved for humans. And the FDA could revise its rules the way it has revised them for flu vaccine: Although it changes every year to meet the current influenza, new versions don't need to repeat the entire testing process.

And, of course, even if phage clinics never cross our borders, Tijuana isn't far to go to save someone's life — although the irony shouldn't be lost on anyone.

Andrew Kantor is a technology writer, pundit, and know-it-all who covers technology for the Roanoke Times. He's also a former editor for PC Magazine and Internet World. Read more of his work at kantor.com. His column appears Fridays on USATODAY.com.

#2 cervantes86

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 01:15 PM

I have been reading about this and this could be a solution for a lot of people.there is no way the bacteria could evolve to become resistant, cause the page will evolve with it.i hope one day this thing is properly developed and approved.

#3 JR86

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 01:47 PM

do they actually use phages in russia to treat acne?

#4 Maximus76

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 01:57 PM

phages bein used in russia to treat acne????...damn if its true ..im catchin the next flight to russia eusa_dance.gif

#5 john1234

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 02:10 PM

somehow i don't think bacteria is the problem with acne.
Doesn't BP kill 100% bacteria upon contact.

The main problem is the follicle being plugged, not the bacteria. That's why antibiotics are close to useless.
..


#6 HyperSniper

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 04:27 PM

Hmmmmmmmmm I agree with John1234 on this one, to some extent.

#7 JR86

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 04:28 PM

QUOTE(john1234 @ Nov 12 2006, 03:10 PM) View Post

somehow i don't think bacteria is the problem with acne.
Doesn't BP kill 100% bacteria upon contact.

The main problem is the follicle being plugged, not the bacteria. That's why antibiotics are close to useless.
..
antibiotics are also anti-inflamitory, that's the main reason they are effective at treating acne.


#8 Allen J5191

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 09:07 PM

Interesting.

To john, thats partially true about the plugged folicle being the problem, but, if there wasnt bacteria in the plugged folicle there wouldnt be acne...

So i guess this wouldnt be very useful at clearing existing acne, but it would probably help prevent it very well

#9 DMBsDreamGrl

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 09:24 PM

That would be awesome, Acne would be something of the past..

#10 jande

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 09:30 PM

QUOTE(Allen J5191 @ Nov 13 2006, 01:07 PM) View Post

Interesting.

To john, thats partially true about the plugged folicle being the problem, but, if there wasnt bacteria in the plugged folicle there wouldnt be acne...

So i guess this wouldnt be very useful at clearing existing acne, but it would probably help prevent it very well



That's not true. You may not get pimples, but you'd still have acne. Black and white comodones are still acne and can still be clearly seen on the face. It'd probably, if it even eventuates, become another in the long list of acne management treatments, but not in the list of cures.

#11 cervantes86

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Posted 12 November 2006 - 10:17 PM

it migth not cure acne, but atleast it will alleviate the inflamation.

#12 pimplypear

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 12:40 AM

antibiotics dont work on cystic acne b/c the infection is walled off in a cyst which antibiotics do not get into. i think it would be very difficult to design a phage vector that could penetrate this barrier.

#13 acnevy

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 01:23 AM

wuts their address?

#14 thekidjohn

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 07:53 PM

This is a very good piece of info right there.

#15 Sum1killme

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:27 PM

Awesome post , they got rid of chicken pox there should be an acne vaccine.

#16 PickleShmickle

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:05 AM

I thought the Chinese were big on this phage therapy. If it was so great...