Bacteria-Killing Viruses

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Date: September 27, 2015

Anchor Lead: As bacteria become resistant to our arsenal of antibiotics, new approaches to fighting dangerous infections are being sought…including using viruses.

Randy Atkins: Some viruses only infect bacteria…not human cells. And Jim Collins, a medical engineering and science professor at M-I-T, says he can…

James Collins:…engineer them so that they would attack very specific bacteria...

Randy Atkins: …leaving beneficial bugs in your body alone. Once inside the target, though, the viruses…

James Collins:…deliver multiple proteins that would kill or disable the bacterium.

Randy Atkins: Collins says that multi-pronged approach lowers the chance of resistance. And instead of the bacteria exploding, as in most viral infections, their vital functions just get shut down…

James Collins: ...the bug dies a much less violent death…

Randy Atkins: …preventing release of toxins and side-effects. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Anchor Tag: This approach is still many years away from clinical trials.