Harnessing the power of microbes as therapeutics
A new report recently released by the American Academy of Microbiology discusses how specific microbes can be modified to enhance their therapeutic potential for treating human diseases such as cancer and antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. Bacteria and viruses are not always categorized as harmful microorganisms.
In fact, these groups of microbes can be beneficial and can actively participate in many biological processes. With the perception of microorganisms being our partners, research is now being conducted to use microbes to treat disease and enhance human health. Some viruses and species of bacteria can be targeted to kill cancer cells while others can be deployed to replicate in and kill tumors.
Diseases like cancer and antibiotic resistant bacterial infections are challenging, not only because of their prevalence, but also because they pose a serious risk of death. Novel treatments would significantly reduce disease burden globally and diminish medical costs associated with these illnesses.