Phage therapy treats patient with drug-resistant mycobacterial infection


Dedrick RM, Guerrero-Bustamante CA, Garlena RA, Russell DA, Ford K, Harris K, Gilmour KC, Soothill J, Jacobs-Sera D, Schooley RT, Hatfull GF and Spencer H. Engineered bacteriophages for treatment of a patient with a disseminated drug-resistant Mycobacterium abscessus // Nature Medicine, 2019, 25: 730-733. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0437-z


A 15-year-old patient with cystic fibrosis with a disseminated Mycobacterium abscessus infection was treated with a three-phage cocktail following bilateral lung transplantation. Effective lytic phage derivatives that efficiently kill the infectious M. abscessus strain were developed by genome engineering and forward genetics. Intravenous phage treatment was well tolerated and associated with objective clinical improvement, including sternal wound closure, improved liver function, and substantial resolution of infected skin nodules.