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IBEC Seminar: Loris Rizzello
Wednesday, July 12 @ 12:00 pm–1:00 pm
Towards an evolutionary-driven universal therapy against (intracellular) pathogens
Università degli Studi di Milano
We are living a time where we believe antibiotics are the cornerstone of any infectious disease-based therapy. It is definitely out of question that antibiotics saved millions of people worldwide in the last century, and that they are still doing it very efficiently. Nevertheless, their extensive abuse, especially for zoonic applications, contributed to the rise of antibiotic resistance (AMR). AMR is one of the biggest threats in the current human history because it is estimated that the majority of the antibiotics, currently used in the clinics, will be completely ineffective for the eradication of infectious disease. This has been defined as “The New Dark Ages of Antibiotics”, which is expected to start in the next decades if no actions will be taken now. There are several causes behind AMR, but one of the most relevant is the exposure of bacteria to sub-lethal doses of the antimicrobials. One of the big aim of our research efforts is to design of a new generation of therapy that counteract this issue. It is inspired on solutions already provided by Nature, and it is based on the strategy exploited by a specific class of viruses that infect and kill bacteria only, called as bacteriophages, which are completely safe and unharmful to humans. The development of a new therapy possessing the requirements to avoid the rise in AMR represents a new legacy for the future generation in terms of anitibacterial therapies, exaclty in the same way antibiotics changed the human history in the 20th century.