A cocktail of viruses can help safely cure food poisoning

Traditionally, for acute food poisoning, doctors use antibiotics, which create a carpet-bombing effect on a complex intestinal ecosystem. Scientists from the University of Copenhagen decided to stop this practice and create a means of targeted destruction of microorganisms that provoke poisoning in people.

The famous E. Coli, also known as Escherichia coli, was taken as the main enemy. The idea is to isolate several types of bacteriophages that see it as their prey, and will only hunt for this bacterium, ignoring others. Then, instead of the tactics of scorched earth in the intestines, a special operation will unfold to eliminate a specific enemy.

The most difficult part of this idea was the creation of a testing ground. All existing models and systems are focused only on the conduct of biochemical and biophysical processes, and Danish scientists were interested in the survival of neutral microbes during the "warfare". Therefore, they designed their own TSI test facility, which not only mimics the conditions in the human small intestine, but was also populated with the necessary flora, which successfully took root there.

Experiments with promising phages made it possible to identify three species that successfully completed the task - they killed almost all E. coli and did not touch the rest of the bacteria. Now the authors of the method want to conduct experiments on living things, first mice, and then people. If success awaits them, then in the arsenal of doctors there will be new, gentle means for the treatment of many common diseases.

Test setup simulating the human intestine