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Phage therapy: An alternative to antibiotics in the age of multi-drug resistance.

  • Author(s): Lin, Derek
  • Koskella, Britt
  • Lin, Henry
  • et al.
Abstract

The practice of phage therapy, which uses bacterial viruses (phages) to treat bacterial infections, has been around for almost a century. The universal decline in the effectiveness of antibiotics has generated renewed interest in revisiting this practice. Conventionally, phage therapy relies on the use of naturally-occurring phages to infect and lyse bacteria at the site of infection. Biotechnological advances have further expanded the repertoire of potential phage therapeutics to include novel strategies using bioengineered phages and purified phage lytic proteins. Current research on the use of phages and their lytic proteins, specifically against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, suggests phage therapy has the potential to be used as either an alternative or a supplement to antibiotic treatments. Antibacterial therapies, whether phage- or antibiotic-based, each have relative advantages and disadvantages; accordingly, many considerations must be taken into account when designing novel therapeutic approaches for preventing and treating bacterial infections. Although much is still unknown about the interactions between phage, bacteria, and human host, the time to take phage therapy seriously seems to be rapidly approaching.

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