As if it wasn't enough to have had a lung transplant as a teenager, Isabelle Holdaway, a young British girl, also found herself with cystic fibrosis. This means that after the transplant, her body was attacked by bacteria. Her skin, bones and organs were infected and covered with abscesses.
A one percent chance of survival
Doctors were giving her antibiotics, but Isabelle's body did not accept them: her body established a resistance against them. Then came the difficult diagnosis, doctors estimated the girl's chances of survival at 1%. Her parents insisted that a new therapy - which had not yet produced results - be tested.
Since Isabelle's case is not isolated, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh developed an alternative to antibiotics. When her parents heard about it, they asked the doctors to apply it to their daughter.
This new form of therapy is the creation of bacteria eaters, bacteriophages, directly injected into the girl's body. Manipulated by health professionals, these viruses are able to recognise and fight dangerous bacteria, eating them by inserting their DNA into the cells and multiplying.
A medical breakthrough
As RTL.de reports, after more than six months, there was some good news: the girl was completely cured. Her liver and lungs had recovered and were functioning better than before. In the medical field, the rescue of Isabelle Holdaway was a breakthrough in bacteriophage treatment. It also gives hope to all antibiotic-resistant patients. But above all, it means one thing to the girl: it is possible to survive despite only a 1% chance...