WELCOME to the exciting world of CURE!
Dear reader, welcome to the exciting world of CURE!
Did you know that there are 30 million Europeans suffering from asthma and that its control remains suboptimal despite treatment? Despite recent advances in research, a cure for asthma is still far from reality, and patients still need new treatment approaches to better manage the disease.
Some years ago, we found that bacterial viruses, also known as phages, are reduced in people with asthma. This unexpected finding within the EU-funded project PREDICTA revealed the significant role that phages have within the respiratory track, their ability to control bacterial populations and, presumably, bacterial imbalance and inflammation. In the CURE project we are looking at how to reinstate a healthy microbial ecology in the lungs (eubiosis), as an opportunity to fight asthma back.
Phage therapy is used routinely in other parts of the world, and it is just appearing as a novel treatment against microbial resistance in Europe. However, phage therapy has never been used for rebalancing dysbiosis in humans. The European Medicines Agency is digging into the use of a stable specific phage mixture to start with, but an efficient treatment will need to be more flexible and ‘personalised’, which is not allowed under the current rules.
Nikos Papadopoulos, CURE Coordinator
 Phages are also known as bacteriophages. A bacteriophage is a type of virus that infects bacteria; in fact, it literally means “bacteria eater”. Source: https://www.nature.com/scitable/definition/bacteriophage-phage-293
 Dysbiosis is the condition of having imbalances in the microbial communities either in or on the body. Dysbiosis is associated with many diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. Source: https://www.nature.com/subjects/dysbiosis
 A phage mixture consists of multiple “bacterial viruses” types, also called phages or bacteriophages, in order to kill several clinical strains of triggering bacteria. Source: https:// www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23701332