An alternative treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections that are raising concern nationwide already exists. But there's a big problem. The treatment is not approved for use in the United States.
And it could be a decade or more for the treatment, long used in Russia, former Soviet nations, Eastern Europe and more recently in Asian nations, before it gets regulatory approval for safety and effectiveness.
The treatment method involves bacteriophages -- viruses that kill bacteria -- that are the world's most abundant organisms. Each phage injects DNA into a specific bacterium to replicate itself, killing the bacterium in the process.
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