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New research shows significant promise for Clostridium difficile infections

A new study has confirmed the therapeutic potential of bacteriophage combinations to treat highly infectious bacteria C. difficile infections (CDI) while retaining a healthy gut.

A team led by Martha Clokie, Professor of Microbiology at the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, demonstrated that bacteriophage combinations significantly reduce growth of C. difficile cells and proliferation in complex models, whilst retaining healthy gut by preventing destruction of beneficial bacteria caused by traditional antibiotic treatment.

The study, which was funded by AmpliPhi Biosciences, is published in the peer-reviewed publication Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

“Our data supports the therapeutic potential of phage combinations to treat C. difficile infections,” said Professor Clokie. “In particular, combinations of phages optimised in the laboratory setting were shown to be effective in the treatment of C. difficile in animals. Further refinements to our bacteriophage cocktails can be explored to maximise phage efficacy and to target the most dominant C. difficile variants.”

“Lab experiments, like this, allow us to see what effect specific phage combinations have on C. difficile in complex models. To see the effect of specific phage combinations in humans we would run an experimental trial with people.”

Watch a video of Professor Clokie explaining her research into bacteriophages:

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