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Phage Therapy Successful in Mice, but Resistance Looms

Since just before the turn of the 20th century, bacteriophage’s antibacterial activity was detected in the waters of the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. English bacteriologist Ernest Hankin had written about the bactericidal effect against cholera of something in the filtered water of these rivers. At the time, he was unaware of viruses that could attack bacteria, and it would be more than two decades later when French-Canadian microbiologist Félix d’Hérelle isolated phage virus from chicken feces and successfully treated an outbreak of chicken typhus—introducing the world to “phage therapy.”

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