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A Phage Foundry Framework to Systematically Develop Viral Countermeasures to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Pathogens.


At its current rate, the rise of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) infections is predicted to paralyze our industries and healthcare facilities while becoming the leading global cause of loss of human life. With limited new antibiotics on the horizon, we need to invest in alternative solutions. Bacteriophages (phages)-viruses targeting bacteria-offer a powerful alternative approach to tackle bacterial infections. Despite recent advances in using phages to treat recalcitrant AMR infections, the field lacks systematic development of phage therapies scalable to different applications. We propose a Phage Foundry framework to establish metrics for phage characterization and to fill the knowledge and technological gaps in phage therapeutics. Coordinated investment in AMR surveillance, sampling, characterization, and data sharing procedures will enable rational exploitation of phages for treatments. A fully realized Phage Foundry will enhance the sharing of knowledge, technology, and viral reagents in an equitable manner and will accelerate the biobased economy.

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