Delhi lab tests for ‘bacteria-killing’ therapy
The therapy is an alternative for infections resistant to antimicrobial drugs currently in use.Updated: Oct 23, 2020, 07:46 IST
In a first, Delhi-based Dr Dang’s Labs has started testing patients for their susceptibility to bacteriophage, a type of virus also referred to as “bacteria eater” because of their ability to infect and kill bacteria.
The therapy is an alternative for infections resistant to antimicrobial drugs currently in use.
The test will be available at all major cities across the country and will cost only ₹850. This will make it easier to access the therapy provided by Eliava Phage Therapy Centre in Georgia. So far, Indians with bacterial infections resistant to multiple drugs had to either go to the centre for the therapy or send their samples there for testing which would take at least a couple of weeks.
“The test is done from the site of the infection. It will tell us what the bacteria is, which medicines it is resistant to, and which phages are likely to work. Once the patients have the test reports, a copy of which we also send to Eliava, they are sent the phages. It is a water-like solution which can easily be administered by a local physician or by the patient themselves. How to administer it depends on the site of the infection – if it is an ear infection it is to be taken in the form of ear drops, if it is an infected burn, it has to be administered on the affected area,” said Dr Navin Dang, founder, Dr Dang’s Laboratory.
“Antimicrobial resistance is a real problem and people are working to, first of all, reduce it and conserve the existing drugs. There are people looking for newer antibiotics and alternatives like bacteriophage and certain chemicals. There is an institute in Meerut that looked at bacteriophages and their role in keeping the Ganga water clean. But I would not recommend it as a therapy yet,” said Dr. Shobha Broor, former head of the department of microbiology at AIIMS.