posted on Mar, 9 2012 @ 11:23 PM
I would like to collect your opinion on this wide field that maybe in the near future (~10 years) becomes widely available.
Viral Therapy is a Umbrella term for many kinds of therapy, all however use viruses to cure disease.
The earliest example of this was Virulation against small pox. In various cultures in the antique it was discovered that if you infect a healthy
individual with small pox in a small incision in the arm you get an immuneresponse and you develope Immunity to Small pox. The mortality rate of
Virulation was about 1/100 which is much lower then a natural smallpox infection.
This got of course as most of you know perfected by edward jenner in 1796, who discovered that Cow Pox offer the same rate of Protection from small
pox but with a much lower risk.
Then things got silent and not so much happened for about 100 years. When Bacteriophages where discovered by both Twort and Felix Deherelle (i aint
not good with french names) in around the same time. This little buggers only infect bacterias.
Bacteriophages can be used to treat any bacterial infection. They dont care if the bug is antibiotic resistent or not and are highly specific in
their host range. Meaning they mostly infect only one kind of bacterial species. However many of this things where not known in the early 20`s. They
thought one phage infects all Bacteria, which is of course wrong. So it wasnt the silverbullet that the researchers hoped it to be.
What happened was that the public thought that Phagetherapy was ineffective at best. There where many mistakes made in that time that ultimatly gave
phage therapy such a bad reputation that it got essentially got forgotten (also the introduction of antibiotics shifted the researchers focus).
However we now know so much about how phage works it would be much safer and if we dare it could be the silver bullet that will rid us from bacterial
infections. They are extremly cheap to produce are found virtually everywhere. Which means that there wont be a patent mess.
Viral Cancer therapy is currently heavyly researcherd. It essentially wants to use a virus to kill the cancer cells in a body. There have been made
astounding advances in the recent years. A Example is Myxomavirus Which is a virus of Rabbits that has shown to be effective against Glioma (a very
Using viruses to kill other viruses is also being researched right now. HIV is one of the main targets since it is so hard to target by other means.
Using a virus that will infect the same cells as HIV but then lacks a certain protein that only HIV has (Retrotranscribtase for example) will enable
this virus to only infect and kill HIV infected cells. That is i guess the most aggresive form of viral therapy and a form of Scorched earth tactic.
but for now our best shot in actually curing the disease.
Then we have Gene therapy Which uses a Virus (mostly adenovirus) Vector to deliver a gene/Artificial Chromosome to our own cells. Only imagination is
the limit to what this gene could be. But its mostly used to deliver a gene that a person lacks to cure a disease. Its also used to deliver a gene
that can produce antibodies against a certain disease. But could be also used for other reasons (glow in the dark finger lol)
I guess i covered everything now that Viral Therapy has to offer. I know i left alot of details out and hope its accurate enough to form a opinion on
So the question is what do you think about Viral Therapy?
PS i wrote all this from memory so there are bound to be some mistakes.