STAT June 23, 2024
Mark H. Smith

My daughter, Mallory, died in 2017 at the age of 25 from a multiply resistant bacterial lung infection that followed a double-lung transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis. In the weeks before her death, my wife, Diane Shader Smith, and I sought out and obtained an innovative yet underused treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria known as phage therapy. Her physicians administered the therapy, but it was too late to save Mallory’s life. An autopsy, though, confirmed that the phages had reached their target and had started to work.

Resistance of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes to drugs designed to keep them in check, collectively known as antimicrobial resistance, poses one of the gravest threats to global health today. With bacteria having developed...

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