Phage therapy, the use of viruses as biocontrol agents to combat pathogenic or nuisance bacteria.
To get a sense of what phage therapy is all about, consider the following:
To get a sense of what phages are all about, click here.
The following are advantages that have been cited in publications as associated with phage therapy:
- "Bactericidal… Reduced potential for bacterial development of resistance" (2011)
- "They are self-replicating but also self-limiting because they multiply only as long as sensitive bacteria are present." (2005)
- "They can be targeted far more specifically than most antibiotics to the problem bacteria, causing much less damage to the normal microbial balance in the gut. The bacterial imbalance or 'dysbiosis' caused by many antibiotic treatments can lead to serious secondary infections involving relatively resistant bacteria, and often increasing hospitalization time, expense, and mortality" (2005)
- "Narrow resistance evolution… Selection for resistance limited mostly to within populations of targeted bacteria" (2011)
- "Lack of cross-resistance… Antibiotic-resistant bacteria tend to retain phage sensitivity" (2011)
- "Rapid discovery process… Phages with large therapeutic windows are often simple to isolate" (2011)
- "Phages can often be targeted to receptors on the bacterial surface that are involved in pathogenesis, so any resistant mutants are attenuated in virulence." (2005)
- "Potential for modification… Phages can be easy to molecular characterize and manipulate" (2011)
- "Few side effects have been reported for phage therapy." (2005)
- "Low inherent toxicity… Virions consist of only proteins and DNA" (2011)
- "Phage therapy would be particularly useful for people with allergies to antibiotics." (2005)
- "Appropriately selected phages can easily be used prophylactically to help prevent bacterial disease at times of exposure or to sanitize hospitals and help protect against hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections." (2005)
- "Biofilm clearance… Certain phages, unlike most chemical antibiotics, can be relatively good at this" (2011)
- "Dosing versatility… Phage formuations [sic] can take many forms and can be delivered via many routes" (2011)
- "Especially for external applications, phages can be prepared fairly inexpensively and locally, facilitating their potential applications to underserved populations." (2005)
- "Favorable pharmacokinetics… Delivery to targets or persistence in situ often is either good or improvable" (2011)
- "Phages can be used either independently or in conjunction with other antibiotics to help reduce the development of bacterial resistance." (2005)
- "Single-dose potential… Can provide dosing convenience" (2011)
- "Low-dosage potential… Of possible economic or safety utility" (2011)
- "Low environmental impact… Due to a combination of narrow spectrum of anti-bacterial activity, lability, and low inherent toxicity" (2011)
- "Not antibiotics… Fewer societal concerns with use, such as in agriculture" (2011)
- "Natural products… Potential appeal to natural medicinals market" (2011)
- "Relatively low cost… As drugs, reasonable production costs" (2011)
- "Public perception… Public perception of the use of phages as antibacterials seemingly is positive" (2011)
For similar lists, see that of Thomas Hausler as well as Loc-Carrillo and Abedon .
The following are some phage-therapy videos:
Listen also to this podcast on phage therapy from Science Friday .
The following together represent a virtual book on phage therapy and related subjects. It is presented in reverse order of publication, and all chapters or articles are either authored by or edited by S.T.A.:
Click here to see the resources links page (beta version).
See also the Bacteriophage Ecology Group (transitional version).
Use this box to search Phage-Therapy.org: