University of Hertfordshire

Phage therapy: a reappraisal of bacteriophages as antibiotics

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)237-44
JournalArchivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis
Journal publication date2003
Volume51
Issue4
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Abstract

The concept of phage therapy to treat bacterial infections was born with the discovery of the bacteriophage almost a century ago. After a chequered history, its current renaissance is fueled by the dangerous appearance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on a global scale. As a mark of this renewed interest, the unanswered problems of phage therapy are now being addressed, especially for human use. Phage therapy in the agricultural, food-processing and fishery industries is already being successfully applied, and this review, whilst being aware of the potential drawbacks, emphasizes the need for further carefully controlled empirical data on its efficacy and safety in treating human and animal disease, especially in view of its numerous advantages over antibiotics. Finally the potential of phage therapy against bioterrorism and the emergence of second generation phage antibacterials based on phage-derived single-protein lysis systems are addressed.

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