Scientists Find Cure for Chronic Diabetic Foot Ulcers, Healing Them in Days Instead of Years

CC0 / / Foot
Foot - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.01.2022
A diabetic foot ulcer is an open wound that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes and has a high rate of recurrence. Chronic infections slow the healing process of the wounds to months and years and these ulcers are the cause of 70 percent of diabetes-related amputations.
The chronic diabetic foot ulcer wound, which usually takes years to heal, could now be cured in days or months, according to an Indian scientist, Prof. Gopal Nath from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Uttar Pradesh state.
Prof. Nath has shared that although the traditional treatment strategies, despite taking years, often succeed in healing chronic diabetic foot ulcer wounds, they demonstrate a high recurrence of infection. Hence, the need of the hour is to find an alternative to antibiotics.
The Indian scientist, along with his research fellows, have claimed that bacteriophage therapy, which uses bacterial viruses (phages) to treat infections, is a re-emerging solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Prof. Nath and his team of scientists from BHU's Department of Microbiology Institute of Medical Sciences carried out a phage therapy of acute and chronic infected diabetic foot ulcer wounds in animals and clinical studies, and,published its findings in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, US.
The study employed a total of 20 patients with chronic non-healing ulcers for more than six weeks. The findings revealed that a significant improvement could be achieved in the form of complete wound epithelisation within a few weeks.
Another study employed 48 patients having a minimum of one eligible full-thickness wound that hadn't healed in six weeks with conventional wound management. The phage therapy performed on them showed promising results, and a significant improvement was observed in wound healing.
The study projected that phage therapy is equally effective regardless of the diabetic or non-diabetic status of the patient, though the healing was relatively delayed in diabetic patients.
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