Alternative MethodsConventional Methods

March 29

A way To Treat Bacteria Without Antibiotics?

Tracy Campbell
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 4 min.

A bacteriophage is a virus that infects bacteria. Viruses can enter and make copies of themselves within our own cells. Viruses can also do this within bacterial cells. These viruses called bacteriophages - phages for short - are specific to bacteria. They aren’t intended to infect us. They instead infect very specific bacteria.

That means these viruses can be used to protect us. These viruses can be our weapons against dangerous bacteria.

They can be selected for specific bacteria and used to stop them. The enemy of our enemy may be our friend.

Phages as therapy, though, aren’t ready for prime time in the US. It’s still a field of study - in the US, at least. There is new interest, though, in making this treatment work. There just isn’t enough evidence to know whether this treatment will be promising.

This sounds odd. Why would we need this?

There may be benefits to Phages, if we lose our antibiotics to resistance. If all goes well, their advantages would be:

Usually, antibiotics help our immune systems fight bacteria. As antibiotic resistance grows, we may need a new way to fight bacterial infections. More bacteria are becoming resistant to drugs we’ve relied on for decades. New antibiotics are not being made quick enough to replace the antibiotics we have lost.

Using bacteriophages - which can be designed to be more selective than antibiotics - may let us be more precise in our treatments. which can take out whole swaths of bacteria, when we want to aim at one type and maybe protect other bacteria - our microbiome. Antibiotics can cause unintended harms, when they take away many types of bacteria. After all, we carry more bacterial cells than human cells in our body; wiping these out may have more of an effect than we expect.

Bacteriophages may also be able to get to bacteria that antibiotics can’t reach. Bacteria often surround themselves in biofilm - which is a barrier that keeps some antibiotics from fighting bacteria. Bacteriophages can sometimes get through and protect us, potentially, from these bacteria when antibiotics can’t.

Unlike many antibiotics, bacteriophages can kill bacteria. Phages will lyse - and break apart cells - not just keep them from growing, like many antibiotics that we call “bacteriostatic”.

There isn’t a dose needed for phages. They can be used without careful dosing because they grow to fit the need. Antibiotics can require complicated dosage regimens. Phages shouldn’t be toxic to us -hopefully - so they don’t need to be dosed as closely for our safety, like antibiotics do. They also will grow to meet the demand of the bacteria they are treating. If there are a lot of bacteria, the phage will multiply, meeting this need. Phages expand in number by infecting bacteria.

They can be administered in lots of forms - as creams, tablets, injections, liquids, powders, sprays or sheets for wound care.

Some phages though can be more non-specific and attack many types of bacteria, complicating how predictable harnessing them might be.

But just as bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, we don’t yet know how bacteria - and even our bodies - may develop ways to resist phages.

What are they used for?

Phages have been used recently to keep food poisoning at bay. These phages have already been used to protect food from dangerous bacteria. Bacteria like Listeria grow in our food despite heat and salt. After food is cooked and before it is fully packaged, bacteria can grow unseen. To prevent this, food can be sprayed with these viruses - billions in fact -to keep bacteria from growing and making us sick.

Phages though aren’t regularly used as a treatment in the US for bacterial infections. We don’t yet know how widespread use of these viruses would best work and whether there would be any unintended consequences (such as unintended spread or infection or immunologic effects).

Have they been used elsewhere?

Yes, countries that were once part Soviet Bloc - including Russia, Poland, and especially Georgia used phages, when the Soviet Union and its allies were separated from scientists elsewhere. Phages were used as a frontline treatment of infections or as treatment of last resort, especially in Poland, for anything from surgical infections to bladder infections. The Soviet military - and later the Georgian military in the post-Soviet Union period - used phages developed in Georgia for diarrhea and wound infections. Georgian labs developed cocktails that were reported to treat many different bacteria, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, Proteus and E. coli, such as to be used in wound infections. These were continually updated and modified for use.

However, there were few publications and little formal study with randomized controlled trials to show the efficacy, although many reported successful interventions. Work remains on how to identify, isolate, purify, and administer these as treatments, as well as formally study and validate findings that have been reported. The treatments were constantly updated and tailored, rather than mass-produced, making it more difficult to replicate this work.

Was it used outside of the old Soviet Union?

Yes. There was a time when phages were even used in the US, before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 and antibiotics were used widely. In fact, in the well-known book Arrowsmith, written by Nobel Prize winner, Sinclair Lewis, the protagonist used phages. Physicians in the US did use them, including for staph infections. Drug companies were involved in developing phage treatments, such as for Shigella and Typhoid until antibiotics became widely used.

Phages were also used in France, including for dysentery and staph infections.

So how long have we known about these?

In 1915, bacteriophages were discovered. The field was further investigated for therapeutic uses over the next 30 years, especially in France. As early as 1919, phages were used for dysentery in France. Phages were no longer used outside the Soviet Union and Poland after the 1940’s (except for a small amount of research in France), until the 1980’s when the literature from Soviet scientists was first appreciated outside of the region.

Within Soviet bloc countries, there continued to be the development of phages for the treatment of bacterial infections. In Georgia, in particular, there was continued use and development of specific phages for specific bacterial infections.

Are there a lot of Phages out there?

There are a lot of Phages in our world. There are thought to be say, 10^31 bacteriophage particles. That means 1,000,000,000…..000 - a one followed by 31 zeros. In other words, there are many bacteriophages causing many, many infections every second.

Are there different kinds?

Yes, there are 19 different families. Viruses can use DNA or RNA as their genetic material. They can have their genetic material be in a circle or a line, one strand or two. They can also be enveloped (by the cell’s membrane).

by Megan Coffee For Very Well


Leave your questions here

To write a comment you must
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter

All categories

Emotional Stress Release
$800 USD
Retreat( India): Connect With Your Inner Wisdom 1st to 4th Sept

Join us for an immersive experience anchored amidst the beauty and tranquillity of Kasar Devi, Almora, India

1st Sept’22 ( Thursday) - 4th Sept 2022 ( Sunday …

Psychic Reading
$80 USD
I will do oracle and tarot card readings

I will do oracle & tarot card reading in any area of your life. You will get answer from the Angelic, Elemental, Faerie or Galactic realms. I will share wi…

Wisdom Realms
Natal Astrology
$15 USD
15 min reading of SOUL structure

[SOUL STRUCTURE]Each soul has own structure,and knowing it means to have unlimited access to inner energy. This readings are telling about your talents and str…

Ksenia Jdanova
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Ask a Question?

Supportive reflection of a current question that you would like clarity around. Using the SMART method to seek quidance in stepping onto your path of potential…

Beverly Lynn
$150 USD
Reiki Services (distant healing session)

In this hour long distant healing session I will use long distance Reiki, crystals and essential oils to balance your Chakras. Balancing your Chakras allows en…

Erin Kirby
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Intuitive Tarot Reading

Affordable Tarot reading to offer guidance on any given concern.

Elphie Shoppe
$10 USD
Talk Therapy Sessions

Hello there: These times are dread. Do you need to talk with a safe professional about a troubling personal challenge? I am a professional listener and will li…

Eulalee Thompson
Tarot Reading
$10 USD
Tarot Reading

I offer tarot readings with a 100% accuracy rate. The tarot is meant to give you advice, to point you in the right direction or to provide you with clarity. Bu…

Zara Kalil
Angel Healing
$10 USD
Mental Health Advice & Tips

I can help you with past issues and give advice and tips on how to better your life. I can see through my third eye and receive messageson what you need to do …

Beings Of Light
Life Coaching
$10 USD
Discovery call

Are you interested in supporting your health with safe and effective holistic medicine? Not sure if you should switch diets, work with a health coach or explor…

Suzana Da Costa
Wellness Coaching
$50 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Wellness Coaching
$10 USD
Mental Health and Holistic Lifestyle Coaching Consultation

Hi there! I’m Doug and I offer 1 on 1 Holistic Lifestyle and Mental Health Coaching sessions. Navtigating life with mental health issues of any sevarity is a h…

Doug Peterson
Family Psychology
$10 USD
Psychic Reading

Expert in Love Relationship, Tarot Psychic Reading I can give you more powerful insight of every part of your life. With the help of Crystal ball my Psychic re…

Aamir Bilal
Career Coaching
$195 USD
Holistic Lifestyle & Nutrition Coaching


If this sounds like you, then you don’t need a new diet… you n…

David Giddings
Bach flower therapy
$120 USD
Bach Flower Essence Consultation

Exploration of where you’re feeling stuck or limited in life and recommendations of Bach Flower Essences to help loosen and dissolve old patterns.

Suzana Da Costa
Cognitive-behavioral therapy
$100 USD
Subliminal therapy

In this service we will use Subliminal therapy and Sound healing as alternative to tradition cognitive behavioral therapy.

We are born with our thoughts. Do n…

Ahmed Amin Youssef
Spiritual Healing
$10 USD
Intro 2 Alignment Healing Chant


That is my greeting to the spirit within you. Join me for a welcome introduction session to celebrate my arrival at Core Spirit!

For 15 minutes I wi…

Ti3rc3 Fire
$55 USD
Psychic Medium Readings

READINGS Currently, all readings will be offered virtually. Appointments are available on Tuesday and Thursday mornings between 9am-1pm (UK Time Zone). When we…

Jan Morgan
Oracle Cards Reading
$25 USD
Psychic Reading 15 Minutes

Well-versed in the main 5 clairs, I will Intuitively answer your questions for 15 minutes.

Jyll Hoyrup
Emotional Stress Release
$150 USD
Creatrix® Breakthrough

This is a revolutionary process, SPECIALLY designed for women. You will be able to clear your most depeest BLOCKS and limiting beliefs. 

This is the only too…

Tamar Viva
Distance Healing
$10 USD
Energy Healing (Distant)

Distant Energy healing promotes relaxation, reduces tension and stress and will support an overal sense of well being after a treatment. It is an effective ad…

Beverly Lynn
Emotional Freedom Technique
$10 USD
Transform Your Relationship With Your Money

In this session, you will learn the basics of Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT. Together we will use that technique, sometimes called simply tapping, to sor…

Nancy Allen
Personal Development Coaching
$10 USD
Anxiety and Depression - Coaching Consultation and Assessment Call

Are you looking to begin making a change in your life and become the best version of yourself by breaking free from the emotional barriers that has been blocki…

Amritha Kailas
Mind Control
$72 USD
Women's Emotional Wellness and Transformation Coaching

Are you dealing with confusion, low esteem, anxiety, depression, overthinking , relationship issues and trying to find focus, confidence, purpose, peace and b…

Amritha Kailas