Bacteriophage-based therapy: back to the past to move forward into the future
In this webinar, the speaker will discuss advantages and challenges associated with bacteriophage therapy, underscoring its potential precision, adaptability, and ability to counter bacterial resistance, as well as regulatory considerations and the necessity for robust clinical validation.
The escalating global challenge of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections has spurred a paradigm shift in medical research towards innovative solutions. Bacteriophages, viruses that infect and lyse bacteria, were initially recognized for their therapeutic potential nearly a century ago, but their significance waned with the advent of antibiotics. Nowadays, bacteriophage-based technology has reemerged as a potent strategy for addressing the crisis of antimicrobial drug resistance.
Modern biotechnology, including genomics, bioinformatics, and synthetic biology, is empowering researchers to explore the intricate interactions between bacteriophages and bacteria. By leveraging this knowledge, scientists are selecting and/or designing bacteriophages with exquisite specificity, enabling the targeted elimination of multidrug-resistant bacterial strains. This targeted approach holds promise in minimizing disruption to the human microbiome while effectively tackling bacterial infections.
Here, the advantages and challenges associated with bacteriophage therapy, underscoring its potential precision, adaptability, and ability to counter bacterial resistance are addressed. Regulatory considerations and the necessity for robust clinical validation are also discussed, highlighting the importance of comprehensive evaluation to ensure the safety and efficacy of bacteriophage-based interventions.
Mariagrazia Di Luca, Phage and Biofilm Lab, Department of Biology, University of Pisa
Dr Mariagrazia Di Luca is a Microbiologist. She got her PhD in Microbiology and Genetics (University of Pisa) in 2010. Then, she became a specialist in microbiology and virology in 2015 working on biofilms associated with chronic rhinosinusitis. In 2016 she joined Trampuz´ group at Charité University Medicine Berlin as responsible for the scientific management of the Biofilm Research Lab working on phage therapy for treating prosthetic joint infections. Since June 2018, Dr Di Luca has been appointed as Assistant Professor at the Biology Department of the University of Pisa establishing the Phage&Biofilm Lab. Her current research interests include medical biofilms, the development of alternative strategies to target sessile bacteria, in vitro studies on the antibacterial activity of new drugs, bacteriophage-bacteria interaction and bacteriophage therapy.
Furthermore, she is a founder member of the Italian Group of Viruses of Microbes and co-founder of a startup called Fagoterapia LAB which aims to develop phage therapy in Italy and support infectious diseases doctors in its applications.
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