Caister Academic Press

Genetically Engineered Bacteriophages

Rajesh Mamkulathil Devasia and Salim Manoharadas
from: Bacterial Viruses: Exploitation for Biocontrol and Therapeutics (Edited by: Aidan Coffey and Colin Buttimer). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2020) Pages: 587-626.


With the advent of antibiotics, the use of bacteriophages (phages) as antimicrobial agents has been abandoned in the western world. However, the increasing prevalence of multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens has resulted in a resurgence of research efforts to use phages as antimicrobials. A side effect of many antibiotics as well as of phage therapy is the release of cell wall components, e.g. endotoxins of Gram-negative bacteria, which mediate the general pathological aspects of septicaemia. In the last decade, several strategies based on genetically engineered lysis-deficient phages have been devised with the aim to avoid disintegration of the cell envelope but to kill the bacterial target. These studies indicated that killing-proficient but lysis-defective recombinant phages can be exploited as efficient antimicrobials with reduced side effects. Moreover, genetically engineered phages can be used to augment the antimicrobial efficacy of antibiotics and to reduce bacterial biofilms. Apart from these potential medical applications, modified phages have been used to detect bacterial pathogens in foodstuffs. Here, we provide a review of these studies and briefly discuss the prospects of genetically modified phage in medicine and industry read more ...
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