Caister Academic Press

Non-bactericidal Effects of Phages in Mammals

Krystyna Dąbrowska, Ryszard Międzybrodzki, Paulina Miernikiewicz, Grzegorz Figura and Andrzej Górski
from: Phage Therapy: Current Research and Applications (Edited by: Jan Borysowski, Ryszard Międzybrodzki and Andrzej Górski). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Bacteriophages, although unable to propagate in eukaryotic cells, may induce physiological effects in mammalian organisms. Phage impact on the immune system as well as phage interactions with its elements may decide on the final outcome of phage therapy, thus being of a great practical importance for medical applications of phages. The most spectacular but also expected effect of phages in living organisms is the induction of anti-phage antibodies. These have been showed to play a role in phage clearance. However, phages have been shown to be able to modify ROS and cytokine production in mammalian immunological cells. Phage interaction with mammalian cells can be, at least partially, mediated by direct adhesion of bacterial viruses to the cells. Phages are abundant parasites of symbiotic or pathogenic bacteria in animals and humans. Consequently, mammals have become an 'environment' for phages. This environment is a multi-factor system able to induce strong pressure. Phages are complex structures, potentially able to evolve new means of interacting with their environment. Apart from natural phages, engineered phage particles are gaining an important position in biotechnology and medicine. They can be applied as carriers for vaccines or other biologically active agents. These applications, together with phage therapy of bacterial infections, induce constantly growing interest in interactions of phages with mammalian systems read more ...
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