NSTI Nanotech 2009

Filamentous Bacterial Viruses Break Down Amyloid Plaques in an Animal Model of Alzheimer’s Disease – A Novel Therapeutic Avenue

B. Solomon
Tel Aviv University, IL

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, novel therapy, nanotubular phage


We present here results suggesting that intranasal administration of wild type M13 bacteriophage may serve as a safe alternative to immunotherapy to disaggregate existing amyloid plaques and prevent formation of new ones, countering the neurodegeneration associated with AD. After intranasal treatment with phages, transgenic AD mice experienced significantly improved cognitive functions, better olfaction, decreased senile plaque load, less synaptic degeneration and reduced brain inflammation without adverse effects. Bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, are the most numerous life forms on earth, and their natural contact with human beings is not incidental, but rather constant and intensive. Lack of natural tropism for mammalian cells is advantageous for their potential use as a therapeutic agent.Phages are eliminated from the brain and secreted from the body via urine and feces without adverse effects. Intranasal administration of wild type M13 bacteriophages overcame drawbacks of immunotherapy, paving the way for therapeutic application to AD.
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