Bactiophage Therapy, potential highly effective treatment.


New member
I heard an NPR broadcasting of bacteriophages--viruses that attack bacteria cells--and I had an aha moment. I was wondering if it could be used for therapies, and as it turned out, later in the broadcast they discussed how this therapy is prevalent in Eastern Europe, specifically the Republic of Georgia.

I've been emailing a clinic back and forth about getting treatment. They specifically treat Cystic Fibrosis bactiera, MRSA and pseudomonas. The idea is that the phages can penetrate biofilms and will be more effective than antibiotics.

This could mean no more hospitalizations and overly expensive medication. However this medicine is not available in the United States, and I believe it is because it would undercut the huge profits of antibiotics.

Anyway I think it is up for all of us to talk to our doctors and insurance agencies.

This is the clinic ive been in contact with in Georgia. They can do outpatient therapies, but it is kinda pricey. So I'll be looking into my options.

Does anyone have any experience with this or any knowledge they can contribute?


New member
Here is some info they sent me when I registered as a patient in their clinic.

Bacteriophage Therapy for Patients Across the Globe
Frequently Asked Questions

Is phage therapy covered by my insurance?
It depends on your insurance company. Many insurance companies -- if the costs of treatment are lower than those via traditional medical services -- will reimburse most or all costs associated with treatment, including air fare and lodging. Patients may be able to submit claims to their insurance companies for non-phage related treatments and medical costs. The phage preparations, which are not approved in many countries, are only one element of your treatment -- which involves standard medical procedures that are normally covered by most insurance companies. Check with the "utilization review" organization (or equivalent) at your insurance company: ask what is covered if you are treated "off shore". Be sure to include in your inquiry the costs for travel and lodging.
Let the Phage Therapy Center the staff know that you intend to submit an insurance claim and they will prepare the appropriate documentation for you when your treatment is completed.
Do you guarantee a successful outcome to treatment?
No. While the clinic utilizes the state of the art for phage therapy, there remains a possibility that your infection will be resistant to phages and other medications utilized during therapy.
Why is a bacterial sample necessary?
Bacteriophages are "host specific", meaning they are "programmed" to infect and destroy a specific species or sometimes even a particular strain of bacteria. So, for example, if the patient has a Staphylococcus infection, then a Staphylococcusphage must be used to treat it; if there is an E.coli infection, an E.coli phage is required for treatment. Phages will kill bacteria completely, but only if they are matched well. Using a laboratory process called the "phage sensitivty test", PhageTherapy Center determines if your infection is sensitive to (in other words, "can be treated with") the standard productionphage preparations. If the sensitivity test shows that your infection is resistant to the phages, then it is necessary to locate, via a laboratory research process, matching phages. This matching process is called autophage (see description of autophage below).

What does the $200 (for the first sample) and $100 (for each additional isolate) that accompanies my bacterial samples, questionnaire(s), and medical history cover?

  • A laboratory analysis to determine if the infection is sensitive to the standard production bacteriophage preparations produced by our suppliers.
  • An examination of your medical history by a qualified group of physicians and specialists. This examination will result in an assessment / diagnosis. Please note: the lab will not accept bacterial samples for microbiological investigation until payment is received.
  • An estimate of treatment costs.
Unless otherwise indicated, patients must provide both a bacterial sample and a medical history before an assessment and cost estimate can be provided. The more detail provided by the patient during the initial registration and in subsequent correspondence, the more quickly and effectively the medical staff can determine if phage therapy is or is not a good option for you.
How much does the Phage Therapy cost?
The following are estimates; these may differ in your case, depending on the complexity of your condition:

  • Out-patient care: $2,500.00 - $7,500.00
  • In-patient care: $5,000.00 - $20,000
Phage Therapy is the therapeutic application of bacteriophage preparations by a trained physician. The above price approximations include the cost of the bacteriophage preparations.
Patients are responsible for all associated costs for additional medical services, specialists, laboratory tests, medications, surgeries, and hospitalization. Upon completion of the initial diagnosis or assessment, Phage Therapy Center will provide an estimate of treatment costs.
For situations where the patient's infection is resistant to standard production phage preparations: at the request of the patient, the laboratory will attempt to develop an "autophage" (see definition below). This is at additional cost to the patient. The cost is dependent on how long it takes the laboratory to create the custom phage preparation. The patient must pre-approve such laboratory research. Patients are notified if the infection is resistant immediately upon receiving the results of the initial laboratory test.
How do I pay for treatment?
Patients must either wire a designated deposit prior to arriving at the clinic for treatment, or bring with them the designated amount in US dollars. At the end of your treatment at the Phage Therapy Center clinic, you will be invoiced for additional costs, or receive a refund for any unused deposited funds.
Do I need a visa to enter Georgia?
Citizens of the European Union, the United States, Japan, Canada, Israel, Switzerland and Norway may enter Georgia for up to 90 days without a visa. If you are not a citizen of one of the above-mentioned nations, please see the consular info page of Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( to determine if you require a visa.
How prevalent are Staphylococcus aureus infections, and what is the average cost of conventional antibiotic treatment in the United States?
In the United States, an estimated 300,000 patients contract nosocomial (hospital acquired) Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) infections each year resulting in approximately 12,000 deaths. S. aureus also requires significant treatment and hospitalization cost versus other infections, exceeding $48,000 per patient on average.
Until recently, MRSA was seen almost exclusively in hospitalized patients. It is now being seen in the community, especially in pockets such as groups of athletes, children in childcare settings, and crowding situations such as prisons and jails.
What is an autophage?
Bacteriophages are very specific to which species, and in many cases which strain, of bacteria that they will infect and destroy. The purpose of the initial laboratory test of a patient's bacterial isolates is to determine if the bacteria are sensitive to the standard production phage preparations that are produced by our suppliers. If the bacteria are resistant to the phage preparations, then the production preparation will not be effective for treating the infection. The laboratory will, at the request of the patient, conduct a series of additional research, examining and testing with other phages in their collection, to determine if it is possible to develop a custom phage preparation for the patient's infection. Usually it is possible to develop an autophage, but there is no guarantee. This process is at additional cost, due to the labor involved.
What infections / conditions are not treatable with phage therapy?
There are a number of pathogens for which there are currently no therapeutic phage preparations available; the list includes:

  • Mycobacterium (all species, including tuberculosis)
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Citrobacter
  • Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease)