A teenager given a one per cent chance of surviving a dangerous infection has been saved by an experimental cocktail of viruses.
Scientists have hailed the “remarkable” recovery of 17-year-old Isabelle Carnell-Holdaway, who came down with a bug related to tuberculosis following a lung transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
No previous transplant patient to have been infected with Mycobacterium abscessus at the hospital has survived.
However, Isabelle, who was born with cystic fibrosis, is now out of grave danger after being given untested “phage therapy”.
Also known as bacteriophages, phages are a naturally occurring virus that attacks bacteria rather than the body’s own cells.
The Great Ormond Street team obtained phages from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the US after Isabelle’s mother Jo read about the treatment on the internet.