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Antibiotic resistance—the ability of bacteria to survive even large doses of broad-spectrum antibiotics—is a growing problem in the modern world, one that threatens the safety of everyone on the planet. But this hasn’t always been the case; not more than 20 years ago, the idea of antibiotic resistance was not really on anyone’s radar, which is a testament to how quickly the problem has developed, and therefore how time-sensitive it is to develop a solution. According to Dr. Vincent A. Fischetti, head of the Fischetti Lab at Rockefeller University, as well as the results from phase 2 clinical trials which put it to the test, the solution lies in a bacteriophage enzyme called lysin.

On today’s episode, Dr. Fischetti explains how bacteriophages (commonly referred to as phages) kill bacteria, and how he and his team harnessed this knowledge in a way that’s led to the development of the first-ever alternative to antibiotics that’s been FDA-approved to enter phase 3 clinical trials. This potential treatment for bacterial diseases in humans could very well eliminate the daunting threat of antibiotic resistance. Dr. Fischetti brings an impressive amount of fascinating information to the conversation today. By tuning in, you’re bound to learn a number of things, including:

  • How significantly the use of antibiotics in farm animals (to fatten them up, treat them as food products, etc.) has contributed to antibiotic resistance
  • What bacteria do in order to avoid or resist being killed by a given antibiotic
  • Where antibiotics come from and how they are used by the organisms that create them
  • What the difference is between gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria

Press play for all the details.

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