Cute Bugs and MRSA

The Scotsman

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2008
South of the Haggis Munching Line
Hi All - I was just having a natter with my neighbour over a couple of beers...well several actually and a very nice bottle of Scotch which I can seriously recommend "Old Pulteney" 12 year old single malt.......yeah right okay.....back to the point. Anyway he's a consultant surgeon, pretty bright seriously he can read and write. The topic of MRSA came up, you know that nasty lil'ol bug that seems to killing a hell of a lot of folk at the moment...real big in our hospitals and a regular visitor to yours as well so I'm told. Anyway as I said this lad's pretty brainy and we had a interesting chat about the fight against “super bugs” in hospitals. Interested? YES!! well Sheeeeit then read on......If not go to the end of the post for I have a treat for you!!

There was a run down little hospital in Tbilisi, Georgia where they had a stock of medicines that could cure bacterial infections and diseases without the whiff of an antibiotic, it had been doing these little miracles since the time of Stalin and before. The Problem in Russia at the time was that they did not have the money or the expertise to invest in microbiology in fact not much at all. Antibiotics need specialist equipment and scientists that Russian at the time could not afford - and the fact that Stalin kept killing the Georgian scientists.....bit of bummer that! Anyway this little hospital had loads of cures for all sorts of bacterial diseases and infections because they had to find an alternative to antibiotics – the same infections by the way that decades later are running riot in our hospitals and killing thousands, were already conquered many years ago – so what's this wonderful little Georgian miracle cure called! Bacteriophage, heard of it (or them)??.....Yeah okay so you're more switched on the me because I hadn't!

These little guys could a vital tool in the armoury in the against the problems occurring in our Hospitals today, simple viruses that attack, infect and destroy bacteria, nothing more that's all they do with no side effects or danger to humans. Actually I lied, they weren't a Georgian discovery that's just were they were most widely research developed and applied back in the 1930s and 40s. Actually Bacteriophage were discovered independently by Frederick W. Twort in Great Britain (1915) Yeah the BRITS!! and Félix d'Hérelle in France (1917) Booooo! (we don't like the French). D'Hérelle coined the term bacteriophage, meaning “bacteria eater,” to describe the agent's bactericidal ability.

In a nutshell phage virus are highly specialised little bugs that attack specific bacteria and have the benefit of adapting as the bacteria adapt or mutate. They have no effect on any other bacteria other than those specific to their apatite. This is quite important as bacteria are gaining the upper hand over antibiotics especially since these gruesome "flesh eating" infections are proving harder and harder to combat. Antibiotics are struggling to keep up (in reality I'm told they've pretty well lost the battle) because the costs of further research and development are going to outstrip the health authorities ability to pay for them which is why more and more people are dying – simply put its not cost effective to keep up!

One of the main reasons why these little guys are not in the mainstream is because the major drug companies have invested billions of dollars over the years into antibiotics research and development and it is hard for them to let this investment go to waste as, for one thing, it is a massive source of income. And another that they hold the patents! All the research, testing and production on combative techniques against bacterial infection and disease is based on ever more highly specialised use of antibiotics which costs a fortune – to the extent that they are now gene-mapping these bugs to find ever more esoteric weaknesses.

In comparison phage viruses are being researched, manufactured and applied at a fraction of the cost. This would be a benefit to the health services as it cuts costs and saves lives and what's really sad is that there are no apparent down sides and – the Georgians did it in the 1940s!

For those with an inquisitive nature and like to read a bit of science then follow these links and enjoy....

Righty Ho then for those that don't like all the science stuff, well have fun watching these vids (it helps if you like planes by the way – kinda like porn for pilots if you get my drift)
and click on “french low down 5” turn up the volume and ENJOY!!!! in fact sod the science just watch the vids!!

Goodnight all.....jeeeezuz I'm gunna have a hangover in the mornin....:o