What are bacteriophages? Phage means eat. Bacteria are what we know causes disease. Bacteriophages are viruses that eat bacteria. What an amazing diet, bacteria. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it. We have known about bacteriophages since the early 1900s when they were found independently by Twort of Great Britain in 1915 and d’Herelle in France in 1917.
After the introduction of penicillin in the 1940s in America, phages were not used much for treatment of diseases. It was simply too easy to give antibiotics and the unintended consequences of antibiotic over usage, which led to the development of superbugs, was unrecognized. Also, early on, even though work was done mostly in the United Kingdom, World War II led the majority of work to be done in the United States.
Research and use of bacteriophages continued in countries such as Russia and the Republic of Georgia, which was formerly part of the USSR. Those countries still work with phages routinely, isolating them and using them to treat a large number of diseases.
In the USA pharmaceuticals including antibiotics make so much money, there is no incentive for companies to look for less costly ways to accomplish what antibiotics do even though it may be best for our country, especially when you consider that about 23,000 deaths per year occur in the USA from superbugs that are resistant to all known antibiotics
Perhaps it was too good to be true. Did you know that bacteriophages were used about the same time antibiotics were? What good is a bacteriophage, a plain old virus that can kill disease causing bacteria when you have antibiotics that perhaps you can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for when a virus found ubiquitously is worth nothing. It is amazing to me, God seems to have created everything we have ever needed. Actually, he has created everything we need, we just haven’t found some of it yet.
America needs to wake up and become a country that thinks more of its people and less of the almighty dollar. Perhaps then we will advance and catch up to the rest of the world. When we look in the right place, the one place we never seem to look, we will find some answers. In our hearts.
Dr. Rick is a retired American physician, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has done mission work around the country and around the world. He is on a mission to improve healthcare in America. If you would like to read Dr. Rick’s story, “God’s Tiniest Angel and the Last Unicorn” is available on Amazon. Visit www.maverickdoctor.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.