A fitting memorial: Superbug treatment named for the patient who inspired its discovery

Even for the most elite of bacteria-killers, these superbugs were a challenge.

They’d delayed Mallory Smith from getting a lung transplant, and when she’d finally had the surgery, the bacteria quickly migrated into her new lungs. They shrugged off cocktail after cocktail of antibiotics. Finally, Smith’s father proposed an unusual last resort: finding viruses that parasitize bacteria and injecting them into his daughter. But the experimental treatment came too late. Smith died on November 15, 2017, a little over a month after she’d turned 25.

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