Phage Therapy

Center for Phage Research and Phage Therapy, Regensburg, Germany
Almost immediately after the discovery of bacteriophages by Frederik Twort and Félix d'Hérelle in 1915 and 1917, their potential for antibacterial therapy and prophylaxis in humans was recognized and applied. Bacteriophages provide the optimal conditions for this: High specificity, low toxicity, and self-maintaining and amplifying character. Renewed attention to the therapeutic potential of phages reflects growing concern about the emergence of antibiotic resistance and the prospect of a post-antibiotic era. However, modern phage therapy products must compete with today’s antimicrobial drugs, which includes the regulatory requirements for clinical use.

Recently, compassionate use of phages in cases, lacking therapeutic options (bacteria multiresistant against antibiotics) for serious or life-threatening infections has been used and occasionally published. Although there are currently few reference laboratories for the selection and testing of phages for clinical isolates, on-site testing is particularly advantageous in urgent cases. At the PCR new molecular tests to facilitate personalized phage therapy are developed.

The Phage Center Regensburg at the University Hospital Regensburg is seeking to build capacity based on good science practice and good laboratory practice for such applications of bacteriophages.