Natural phages to inhibit bacterial-associated cardiovascular diseases
It has been shown that heart disease is a condition associated with compounds produced by the gut bacteria, Klebsiella, the main one is a metabolite named trimethylamine, or TMA. Antibiotics can be administered to kill the gut bacteria. However gut bacteria can not only develop resistance to these antibiotics, but antibiotics also kill beneficial gut bacteria. Phages are an alternative and targeted approach that has the capacity to kill problematic bacteria and leave the beneficial bacterial community intact. Phage therapy is a treatment that can be combined with conventional approaches such as diet and antibiotics without adverse effects. Phage therapy can be used as a short-term intervention for high-risk groups or as a long-term supplement. To ensure that bacteria do not develop resistance to phages, as happens against antibiotics, phages can be combined into a mixed phage “cocktail” that can be periodically updated. The Medical and Life Sciences Research Fund is supporting Dr Eleanor Townsend working with a team at the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick on the use of natural phages to inhibit bacterial-associated cardiovascular diseases by looking into optimising the dose and timing of the phage cocktail addition.