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"Phage therapy, or how to think about the complex assemblages of humans and microbes" Dr Charlotte Brives (Bordeaux)

Egenis seminar series

An Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences seminar
Date11 June 2018
Time15:30 to 17:00
PlaceByrne House

Bacteriophages (or phages) are viruses that have bacteria as their hosts. Discovered a century ago, and rapidly used as therapeutic agents to treat bacterial infections, they were nevertheless eclipsed by the massive rise of antibiotics from the 1940s onward. Faced with the major public health scourge of antimicrobial resistance, some scientists and physicians are attempting to rekindle and develop therapeutic phages, encountering considerable difficulties along the way. This talk will develop the idea that phage therapy and antibiotic therapy rely on two radically distinct conceptions of infectiology, and of medicine more generally. It traces the way researchers and physicians are actively challenging dominant sociocultural narratives about our becoming with microbes. As such they are engaged in the production of a new narrative about humans, viruses and bacteria, a complex story that invites us to rethink our relationships with microbes, the environment and living things more widely.


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