Caister Academic Press

Bacteriophage Therapy in Animal Production

William E. Huff and Geraldine R. Huff
from: Phage Therapy: Current Research and Applications (Edited by: Jan Borysowski, Ryszard Międzybrodzki and Andrzej Górski). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Concerns over the consequences of bacterial resistance to antibiotics with the use of antibiotics in animal production have led to an increase in research on alternatives to antibiotics. Bacteriophages kill bacteria, are natural, safe, plentiful, self replicating, self limiting, can be used to specifically target pathogens without disruption of commensal bacteria, and have diverse biological properties. These properties make bacteriophages an attractive alternative to antibiotics, especially applicable for the control of antibiotic resistant bacteria. The efficacy of bacteriophages to prevent and treat animal diseases has been shown in almost all production animals in both laboratory and commercial field studies, without any adverse affects in the animals. Although the potential of bacteriophage to control significant diseases in animal production has been demonstrated, bacteriophage therapeutics do not represent a replacement of antibiotics. There are some applications in animal production systems where bacteriophage therapeutics have an advantage over the use of antibiotics and some applications where bacteriophage therapeutics are at a disadvantage over the use of antibiotics. In addition, the effectiveness of antibiotics and bacteriophage therapy can be enhanced when combined to treat animal diseases. The objectives of this chapter are to review the literature documenting the efficacy of bacteriophages to control diseases in animal production, to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of bacteriophage therapy, and to describe possible applications for the use of bacteriophages to control bacterial diseases in commercial poultry, swine, cattle, and aquaculture systems read more ...
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