(concept of using viruses aka phage that are harmless to humans to kill bacteria).
The team conducted laboratory experiments on Pseudomonas aeruginosa a bacterium that causes disease in immunocompromised and cystic fibrosis patients to validate their study results.
By exposing the bacterium to eight types of antibiotics, they found the differences in the mechanisms by which the bacteria evolve resistance to phages, which affect how harmful they are.
It was also seen that four of the eight antibiotics tested caused a dramatic increase in the levels of CRISPR-based immunity (natural immunity/defence of the bacteria).
“We found that by changing the type of antibiotics that are used in combination with phage, we can manipulate how bacteria evolve phage resistance, increasing the chances that treatment is effective. These effects should be considered during phage-antibiotic combination therapy, given their important consequences for pathogen virulence,” says Professor Edze Westra, of the University of Exeter.