Sewage virus to treat dental infections?

We’ve all heard of the emergence of new antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” threatening public health. Due in part to the overuse of antibiotics, researchers are  now returning to the method of bacteriophages, or “phages,” viruses that infect bacteria.

One common infection following root canal surgery stems from E. faecalis, a bacterium found in the human gastrointestinal tract. It has many dangerous side effects, and it difficult to treat because it forms a biofilm where the bacterial cells cluster and stick to surfaces by excreting a slimy, glue-like substance.

In this study, the team tested how well bacteriophage EFDG1 killed E. faecalis cells in a liquid culture and in biofilm form. The tests showed EFDG1 almost entirely eradicated E. faecalis in both forms. Perhaps most importantly, EFDG1 was highly effective at eliminating E. faecalis in tissue examples of root canal infection, suggesting that phage therapy using EFDG1 might be an effective way to prevent E. faecalis infection following root canal procedures.


Paddock, C. (2015, February 19). “Virus found in sewage shows promise in treating dental procedure infections.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from


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