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Wojciech Fortuna, Ryszard Międzybrodzki, Beata Weber-Dąbrowska, Andrzej Górski
Med Sci Monit 2008; 14(8): RA126-132
Data from the World Health Organization confirm a decrease in the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy. The spread of bacteria resistant to several groups of antibiotics creates more problems in the treatment of various diseases, especially in children. It is possible that pharmacological agents may prove to be ineffective in curing infections caused by resistant pathogens, and this could lead to a post-antibiotic era. It is necessary to extend the arsenal of the available therapeutic tools. Bacteriophages have long been used therapeutically and prophylactically in children. In the beginnings of phage therapy, enthusiasm prevailed over the rational methods used in contemporary controlled studies. Many people dealing with phages described cases of successful therapy, but did not conduct comparative studies. Nevertheless, phage administration seems to be safe, even in children after intravenous administration. The therapeutic and prophylactic application of phages is now experiencing a renaissance of interest. The authors' own recent analysis demonstrated the cost effectiveness of phages over antibiotic especially in the treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria. It can be concluded that the results of the therapeutic and prophylactic application of phages against multi-drug resistant pathogens are encouraging. It seems clear that bacteriophages need further evaluation regarding the control of bacterial infection in children.