Expert comment: Science, Innovation and Technology Committee report on the antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Professor Chloe James reacts to the 2023-2024 SIT committee report on the antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages.

Prof Chloe James, Microbiology Society member, and Chair in Microbiology, University of Salford, said:

“This report marks an important and very welcome step change in the advancement of phage therapy.  I was very pleased to see the launch of this inquiry, and the gathering of evidence from a wide network of trusted phage experts from across the UK and beyond.  I believe that phages represent a range of promising ways to tackle antimicrobial resistant infections.  However, the approach has long faced multiple barriers and I am pleased to see that these are acknowledged.  The report recognises that such barriers could be overcome with new ways of thinking both on how to classify medicines and how to run clinical trials.  The need for improved understanding amongst clinicians about the nature of phages is also mentioned.  I think that this will be very important more broadly to build lasting public trust.  The suggestion of establishing an Institute for novel microbe-based therapeutics could be a great to boost UK research.  An injection of funding is also needed to create a sustainable and accessible asset that could transform our approaches to healthcare.”

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