Super Bug Killers: W5
Catalogue Number: CTV811
Subject: Canadian History, Consumer Studies, Current Events, Documentary, Health and Medicine, Science, Social Sciences, Sociology
Grade Level: 9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2019
Running Time: 20:00
A cystic fibrosis patient infected with a dangerous superbug has become one of the first Canadians to try phage therapy - inhaling viruses found in sewage to kill the bacteria in her lungs. The experimental treatment, discovered in Canada over a century ago, may become a new weapon in the war against drug resistant bacteria.
French Canadian scientist Felix d’Herelle co-discovered these micro killers in 1917. Early studies showed they were very good at controlling outbreaks of dysentery and typhoid plague.
But phages were abandoned in favour of antibiotics, which could be mass produced and were much more profitable. Eventually, D'Herelle moved to the Soviet Union to continue his work. And phages were relegated to the fringes of mainstream medicine.
Over the years, bacteria evolved and now many are resistant to our antibiotic wonder drugs. Patients around the world are developing treatment resistant infections after joint replacements, organ transplants and cancer therapy.
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