Sewage viruses may help to prevent dental infections
Researchers in Israel are investigating the use of tiny viruses, cultivated from sewage, to help prevent infections experienced after some types of dental procedures. Enterococcus faecalis (E. faecalis) is a nasty bacterium that lives in human gastrointestinal systems and can cause infections in the heart, bloodstream, urinary tract, as well as meningitis. It is also implicated in persistent infections after a tooth has undergone root canal treatment.
The researchers are investigating the use of phage therapy to combat this particular bacterium. Phage therapy involves fighting bacteria by infecting them with a virus – bacteriophage. They have isolated an anti – E faecalis phage in sewage effluents and are exploring its potential to kill the bacteria in humans. For more information visit http://new.huji.ac.il/en/article/25479