1. Engineered phages stymie drug-resistant infection  Science Magazine
  2. Teenager recovers from near death in world-first GM virus treatment  The Guardian
  3. UK girl first in world to have deadly superbug infection treated with bacteria-hunting GM viruses  The Independent
  4. Genetically engineered phage therapy has rescued a teenager on the brink of death  MIT Technology Review
  5. A Dying Teenager’s Recovery Started in the Dirt  The Atlantic
  6. View full coverage on Google News
![Figure][1]</img> Isabelle Carnell (second from right) with her doctor, Helen Spencer (left); phage researcher Graham Hatfull (second from left); and her mother (right). IMAGE: HELEN SPENCER One week after Helen Spencer's 15-year-old cystic fibrosis patient had a double lung transplant in September 2017, the incision wound turned bright red. For half her life, Isabelle Carnell had been battling a drug-resistant infection of Mycobacterium abscessus , and now it was rapidly spreading, erupting in weeping sores and swollen nodules across her frail body. “My heart sinks when I see that a [lung transplant] patient has got a wound infection, because I know what the trajectory is going to be,” says Spencer, Isabelle's respiratory pediatrician at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. “It's a torturous course that has ended in death for all those children.” With the standard treatments failing, Isabelle's mother asked Spencer about alternatives—adding that she had read something about using viruses to kill bacteria. Spencer decided to take a gamble on what seemed like a far-fetched idea: phages, viruses that can destroy bacteria and have a long—if checkered—history as medical treatments. She collaborated with leading phage researchers, who concocted a cocktail of the first genetically engineered phages ever used as a treatment—and the first directed at a Mycobacterium , a genus that includes tuberculosis (TB). After 6 months of the tailor-made phage infusions, Isabelle's wounds healed and her condition improved with no serious side effects, the authors report on 8 May in Nature Medicine . ![Figure][1]</img> A tailor-made treatment combined this phage with two others. IMAGE: THE HATFULL LABORATORY “This is a convincing proof of concept, even though it's just a single case study,” says infectious disease researcher Eric Rubin of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. But, he adds, “This needs to be tested rigorously with a real clinical trial.” Phage therapy dates back a century, but until recently the idea was relegated to fringe medicine in most countries, mainly because of the advent of antibiotics. Unlike broad-spectrum antibiotics, individual phages typically kill a single bacterial strain, which means a treatment that works against one person's infection might fail in another person infected with a variant of the same bacterium. Phages can also be toxic. But a string of recent successes against antibiotic-resistant bacteria have revived interest in the idea, leading major U.S. universities to launch phage research centers. Drug-resistant TB strains are an especially tempting target for phage therapy. M. abscessus and other bacteria often colonize the thick mucus that builds up in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that afflicts some 80,000 people worldwide. The infections can lead to severe lung damage, for which a transplant is a last resort. Isabelle, for example, had lost two-thirds of her lung function. But her infection persisted after the transplant, threatening her life. To help Isabelle, Spencer's team contacted phage researcher Graham Hatfull of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Hatfull and his team curate a collection of more than 15,000 phages, one of the world's largest, many found by undergraduates at more than 150 schools who take part in an educational phage hunting effort. Hatfull and his team spent 3 months searching for phages that could kill M. abscessus isolated from Isabelle's wounds and sputum. They found three. Hatfull's group wanted to combine the phages into a cocktail to reduce the chances of M. abscessus developing resistance, but there was a catch. Two of the three are so-called temperate phages, which have repressor genes that limit their lethality. To turn those two into reliable bacteria killers, Hatfull removed the repressor genes with a gene-editing technique his lab developed to study phage genetics. Isabelle first received an infusion of the phage cocktail in June 2018. Within 72 hours, her sores began to dry. After 6 weeks of intravenous treatment every 12 hours, the infection was all but gone. Traces remain, however, so she still receives infusions twice a day and applies the treatment directly to her remaining lesions. But she lives a more normal teen life, attending school, shopping with friends, and taking driving lessons. “We are optimistic that in time it can completely clear the infection,” Spencer says. Spencer, Hatfull, and co-authors stress that Isabelle might have improved without phage therapy. They also note that her tailor-made cocktail doesn't work against other M. abscessus isolates they have tested. Still, the apparent success has encouraged phage researchers. Other phages in Hatfull's library infect and kill M. tuberculosis in test tubes, and he thinks they might prove useful weapons against drug-resistant strains. But William Jacobs, a TB specialist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, has tested those phages in a mouse TB model and seen no effect. “TB lives inside cells and I don't think the phages are able to get inside,” Jacobs says. ( M. abscessus primarily lives outside cells.) Others say there could be ways to ferry phages into the infected cells. Phage therapy companies have at least three trials underway to rigorously assess the worth of their potential products for several different bacterial infections. Even if the treatments succeed, they face tall practical hurdles, says Madhukar Pai, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. “For this to become a real world therapy we need to find out if we can do this with less effort and cost.” [1]: pending:yes

Engineered phages stymie drug-resistant infection | Science

One of the viruses used to treat her infections came from the side of a rotting South African eggplant.One of the viruses used to treat her infections came from the side of a rotting South African eggplant.

How Engineered Viruses Cured a Dying Girl’s Infections - The Atlantic

It’s a remarkable story of recovery, but it’s unclear how useful this sort of therapy could become.The background: Isabelle Holdaway had been given less than a 1% chance of survival after a lung transplant, carried out to combat the symptoms of cystic fibrosis, left her with an antibiotic-resistant infection.It’s a remarkable story of recovery, but it’s unclear how useful this sort of therapy could become.The background: Isabelle Holdaway had been given less than a 1% chance of survival after a lung transplant, carried out to combat the symptoms of cystic fibrosis, left her with an antibiotic-resistant infection.

“My take on the first human use of phage therapy to manage Mycobacterium abscessus infection: https://t.co/z0DB3Lm5Qt”

Madhu Pai on Twitter: "My take on the first human use of phage therapy to manage Mycobacterium abscessus infection: https://t.co/z0DB3Lm5Qt… "

“Novel phage therapy | Medical research | The Guardian https://t.co/TzHmMCmoGc”

Jeremy Farrar on Twitter: "Novel phage therapy | Medical research | The Guardian https://t.co/TzHmMCmoGc"

“Teenager recovers from near death in world-first GM virus treatment. My piece on phage therapy https://t.co/qwCV9mvcgR”

Hannah Devlin on Twitter: "Teenager recovers from near death in world-first GM virus treatment. My piece on phage therapy https://t.co/qwCV9mvcgR"

“Amazing story. Phage therapy has been researched for years in the Soviet Union/Russia/Georgia but this is a big advance https://t.co/GOAsIoJMII”

Warren Murray on Twitter: "Amazing story. Phage therapy has been researched for years in the Soviet Union/Russia/Georgia but this is a big advance https://t.co/GOAsIoJMII"

ISABELLE Holdaway, 17, who has cystic fibrosis, was attacked by deadly bacteria while recovering from a lung transplant. Doctors attempted an untested 'phage therapy' which uses viruses to infect and kill bacteria.A TEENAGER has recovered from near death after being the first patient in the world to be given genetically modified virus treatment to battle a deadly infection. Isabelle Holdaway, 17, nearly died…

Cocktail of viruses saved life of teen with 'untreatable' infection

A British teenager has become the first person to be successfully treated with viruses genetically engineered to fight a drug-resistant infection.Isabelle Carnell-Holdaway, 17, nearly died after a lung transplant left her with a bacterial infection that had beaten conventional antibiotics. At oA British teenager has become the first person to be successfully treated with viruses genetically engineered to fight a drug-resistant infection. Isabelle Carnell-Holdaway, 17, nearly died after a...

Genetically altered viruses save life of infected teenager | News | The Times

A new case study outlines the first use of a genetically modified virus to treat a life-threatening antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection. The successful treatment paves the way for larger clinical trials to establish how effective this experimental process could be in wider patient populations.A new case study outlines the first use of a genetically modified virus to treat a life-threatening antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection. The successful treatment paves the way for larger clinical trials to establish how effective this experimental process could be in wider patient populations.

World-first human treatment of antibiotic-resistant infection with genetically modified virus

Researchers have successfully used a mix of 'bacteria-eating' viruses to treat a dangerous, antibiotic-resistant infection in a chronically ill patient.Researchers have successfully used a mix of 'bacteria-eating' viruses to treat a dangerous, antibiotic-resistant infection in a chronically ill patient.

Where antibiotics fail, 'bacteria-eating' viruses may prevail

A British teenager with cystic fibrosis has become the first person in the world to be treated with genetically engineered, bacteria-hunting viruses, after developing a deadly infection. Two years ago Isabelle Holdaway, now 17, was fighting for her life in Great Ormond Street Hospital (Gosh) following a lung transplant and antibiotics were no longer having any effect.A British teenager with cystic fibrosis has become the first person in the world to be treated with genetically engineered, bacteria-hunting viruses, after developing a deadly infection. Two years

UK girl first in world to have deadly superbug infection treated with bacteria-hunting GM viruses | The Independent

With a stroke of last-minute luck, scientists engineered bacteria-killing viruses to help an ailing girl recover from a deadly infection.With a stroke of last-minute luck, scientists engineered bacteria-killing viruses to help an ailing girl recover from a deadly infection.

A teenager given a one per cent chance of surviving a dangerous infection has been saved by an experimental cocktail of viruses.A teenager given a one per cent chance of surviving a dangerous infection has been saved by an experimental cocktail of viruses.

Experimental virus cocktail saves teenager given one per cent chance

Tweaking the genomes of two phages and combining them with a third phage helped to clear a persistent Mycobacterium infection in the patient.Tweaking the genomes of two phages and combining them with a third phage helped to clear a persistent Mycobacterium infection in the patient.

Genetically Modified Viral Cocktail Treats Deadly Bacteria in Teen | The Scientist Magazine®

The notion of using viruses to infect and kill bacteria is getting a second look now that some dangerous bacteria are developing resistance to widely used antibiotics. The notion of using viruses to infect and kill bacteria is getting a second look now that some dangerous bacteria are developing resistance to widely used antibiotics.

Antibiotic Alternative? A Virus to Fight Bacteria

When Graham Hatfull, PhD, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh specializing in phage biology and James Soothill, MD, a microbiologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOHS) in London, met over 20 years ago at a phage biology meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, they could not have predicted that they would one day collaborate to […]

Phage Therapy Win: Mycobacterium Infection Halted

Isabelle Carnell-Holdaway, of Faversham, Kent, received a double lung transplant aged 17 to treat cystic fibrosis. But afterwards a drug-resistant superbug took hold of the teenager.Isabelle Carnell-Holdaway, of Faversham, Kent, received a double lung transplant aged 17 to treat cystic fibrosis. But afterwards a drug-resistant superbug took hold of the teenager.

Virus cocktail saves the life of dying girl amid hopes of breakthrough in fight against superbugs  | Daily Mail Online