First things first: we’re building a crowdsourced phage FAQ page
We’d like to have answers for people when they visit our site, so we’re building a Phage Therapy FAQ page. To maximize the info we can provide, we’re going to link to other phage therapy FAQ pages whenever possible. We’d also like to draw upon the phage community (all of you) for help.
How you can help us
- If you want your organization listed/described as a place people can come to / contact about receiving phage therapy, let us know.
- Send us your favorite resources for helping people understand phages and phage therapy! E.g. An article or youtube video that has explained things really well, a link to the recording of a talk you’ve given, a new book coming out on the subject (looking at you, Steffanie and Tom)
- What are some common questions you get, and how do you answer them?
- Contribute your ideas here! We’ll make sure to credit you!
How do I know if I’m eligible for phage therapy?
If you have a bacterial infection, and it will not respond to antibiotics, you could be eligible for phage therapy. In most countries, phage therapy remains an experimental treatment, and thus must be done according to experimental treatment guidelines (which vary according to the country you’re in).
What is required?
Phage therapy must always be supervised by a licensed physician, and in most countries, the physician will have to work with the national regulatory body to apply for approval to treat your infection with phages. You will need to know the identity of the bacteria causing your infection, which generally requires that the bacteria causing your infection are cultured.
Where can I get phage therapy?
There are only a few established phage therapy centers in the world, and many patients travel thousands of miles to be treated at these centers. If a person does not wish to or cannot travel for treatment, phage therapy can sometimes be set up to occur at a patient’s local clinic or hospital.
If you live in (or can travel to) the USA:
- All phage therapy in the USA is experimental, so to be eligible for phage therapy, you must have a bacterial infection, and all antibiotics normally prescribed for that infection must have been tried, and must have failed to clear the infection.
- As a first step, look into the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH) in San Diego, CA (here is their FAQ page).
- This center opened in 2018 and has treated several patients with phage therapy.
If you live in (or can travel to) Europe:
If you’re unable to travel or would like to pursue phage therapy at your local medical center:
- You’ll need to find a doctor who is willing to provide phage therapy (this should be done by first speaking with your own family physician or infectious disease specialist).
- Once you have a willing physician, put them in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org; we can connect them with physicians that have phage therapy experience.
- Once a physician is on board, and the relevant regulatory authority has been spoken to about the case, we may be able to begin sourcing phages to treat your infection. Often, each patient needs their own set of phages that are tailored to their infection, and finding the right phages can take time and is highly dependent on availability.
Are there other resources I can use to better understand the regulations surrounding phage therapy?
DISCLAIMER: We cannot and do not give medical advice. The information we provide here is intended to help you understand the process a little bit more and to help direct you to professionals who can help you learn if phage therapy is right for you. All decisions to pursue or proceed with phage therapy must be done under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.
Thanks for reading!