Bacteriophages, or simply ‘phages’, are naturally occurring viruses that infect and feed on bacteria. They do not harm any organisms other than bacteria. They are found everywhere – in the air, in water, soil, food, even inside our bodies, and any other environment that allows bacteria to grow in it.
Phage Therapy is the use of phages to cure bacterial infections in human hosts.
Phages are not ‘broad-spectrum’ by nature. That is, a specific phage is only meant for a corresponding bacterial strain. This means that when you take the phage medicine, it does not start destroying all the bacteria inside your body. Only the bacteria that the phage is meant to ‘eat’ will be attacked by it. This is beneficial as the good bacteria, or ‘probiotics’ that help in our digestion and immunity, remain unaffected by the phage medication.
What Infections and Conditions can Phage Therapy Cure?
Please visit our page Conditions Phage Therapy Treats to see the list of diseases commonly cured by phage therapy.
Safety of Phage Therapy
Before I began my treatment with phage therapy, I had a plethora of questions regarding its safety, efficacy, side effects and other limitations. My family too felt the same concerns, and they had to be addressed to put our minds at ease.
We found the following articles and research papers that cleared a number of our doubts.
I also have my personal experience of taking phages for many months in order to cure my Chronic Epididymitis and Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis. During this period, and afterwards, I felt no side effects of phages, and they have not negatively impacted me in any way.
As opposed to the antibiotics that I took orally that weakened me in just 6 weeks but did nothing to cure my infection, this was medication that I could take for a prolonged period of time without harming my body in the process.
Responsible Use of Phages
Though phage therapy has little to no side effects, even when consumed over a long period of time, phages need to be used with care.
To be the most effective, they should ideally be applied at the site of infection, or as close to it as possible. An oral form of the phages will aid the topical application, but the closer one applies phages to where the infection is happening, the quicker and more effective the results will be.
The other thing to keep in mind is that phages should be used only after knowing the sensitivity of the infecting bacteria to the phages. If phage therapy is to be used over a long period of time, testing should be repeated to ensure that only those phages that will work against the infecting bacteria are used, and they are not used without a bacterial infection present. This is important because:
- You would not want the body to develop an unnecessary immunity against phages, whereby it detects unutilised phages inside the body, and flushes them out by creating any antibodies against the phages.
- You also do not want the existing good bacteria in the body to develop a resistance to phages unnecessarily. If you get another infection going forward, the resistance from the good bacteria could also be transmitted to the infection causing bacteria, thus increasing the time taken to treat it.
Like any form of medicine, it is important to undertake phage therapy under proper guidance by experienced and qualified practitioners.
Please look at the various videos and research papers in our Reference Library to learn more about Phage Therapy.