ⓘ Bacterial therapy is the therapeutic use of bacteria to treat diseases. Bacterial therapeutics are living medicines, and may be wild type bacteria or bacteria t ..

                                     

ⓘ Bacterial therapy

Bacterial therapy is the therapeutic use of bacteria to treat diseases. Bacterial therapeutics are living medicines, and may be wild type bacteria or bacteria that have been genetically engineered to possess therapeutic properties that is injected into a patient. Other examples of living medicines include cellular therapeutics and phage therapeutics.

                                     

1. Development of bacterial therapeutics

Development of bacterial therapeutics is an extremely active research area in the fields of synthetic biology and microbiology. Currently, there is a large focus on: 1) identifying bacteria that naturally produce therapeutic effects for example, probiotic bacteria, and 2) genetically programming bacteria to produce therapeutic effects.

                                     

2. Applications

Cancer therapy

There is tremendous interest in using bacteria as a therapy to treat tumors. In particular, tumor-homing bacteria that thrive in hypoxic environments are particularly attractive for this purpose, as they will tend to migrate to, invade through the leaky vasculature in the tumor microenvironment and colonize tumors. This property tends to increase their residence time in the tumor, giving them longer to exert their therapeutic effects, in contrast to other bacteria that would be quickly cleared by the immune system.

Microbiome engineering

There is considerable interest in using bacterial therapeutics to alter human gastrointestinal microbiota, which would be helpful in treating diseases like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and other forms of dysbiosis.