Phage therapy: a reappraisal of bacteriophages as antibiotics

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-44
Number of pages8
JournalArchivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Bacteria
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Bacteriophages
  • Bioterrorism
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Review


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