Hadassah Medical Organization Study Points to Cure for Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

86.6% success rate shows potential of phage therapy to replace or supplement conventional treatment

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Media Contact:
Helen Chernikoff
hchernikoff@hadassah.org
347-899-6673

NEW YORK, NY – An international study led by Dr. Ran Nir-Paz, an infectious disease expert at Hadassah Medical Organizationin Jerusalem, and Dr. Ronen Hazan, a microbiologist at The Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, has broken new ground in the global struggle against antibiotic resistance, paving the way for future clinical trials. The study’s 86.6% success rate demonstrates that phage therapy, which uses viruses to attack bacterial infections, can destroy at least some strains that have become resistant to antibiotics.

The study, the largest of its kind ever conducted, examined the capacity of a phage called PASA16 to destroy antibiotic-resistant strains of the infection known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In 13 of the study’s 15 participants, a combination of antibiotics and PASA16 resolved the infection with minor, manageable side effects.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections range from mild to severe and can affect the lungs, urinary tract and skin as well as wounds. They are a common cause of hospital-acquired infections, particularly in patients with compromised immune systems or underlying health conditions for whom the infections can be fatal, and patients using mechanical ventilation or invasive devices.

An estimated 51,000 Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections occur in US hospitals annually and more than 13% are resistant to more than one drug. Roughly 440 people die of the infections each year.

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Click here to read the study, which was published by MED, the clinical and translational research journal. Funding for the study was provided in part by The Israeli Science Foundation, Rosetrees Trust, United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation and the Milgrom Family Support Program.

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ABOUT HADASSAH MEDICAL ORGANIZATION:
For more than a century, Hadassah Medical Organization, the Jerusalem-based hospital system owned by Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, has set the standard for excellence in medical treatment and research in Israel. The experience and ingenuity of Hadassah’s doctors and scientists have yielded ideas with vast potential in all areas of medicine, including therapeutics, diagnostic medical devices and digital health. In 2023, Newsweek named Hadassah world leader in oncology, the only medical center in Israel to receive that honor, and one of the world’s top hospitals in cardiology and smart technology.

ABOUT HADASSAH:

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With nearly 300,000 members, Associates and supporters, HWZOA brings women together to effect change and advocate on such critical issues as ensuring the security of Israel, combating antisemitism and promoting women’s health. Through the two hospitals of the Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in Jerusalem, HWZOA helps support both exemplary care for more than one million people every year and world-renowned medical research. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2005 for building bridges to peace through medicine. Additionally, HWZOA supports several Youth Aliyah villages that set at-risk children in Israel on the path to a successful future. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org or follow Hadassah on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.