Caister Academic Press

The Use of Phages as Biocontrol Agents in Foods

Jan Borysowski 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 have several features which make them novel antibacterial agents with which to prevent bacterial foodborne infections. Phages can be used to control the growth of bacteria both in food products and on food contact surfaces. In recent years, many studies have shown relatively high efficacy of phages against several major foodborne pathogens, especially Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli including E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter jejuni, and Staphylococcus aureus in a variety of foods; phages were also successfully used against Yersinia enterocolitica, Shigella spp., Bacillus cereus, and Cronobacter spp. In addition, some attempts were made to use phages to eliminate food spoilage bacteria. In most studies, the use of phages resulted in significant, log-fold reductions in the bacterial counts in foods; such reductions are known to substantially decrease a risk of foodborne infections. Main factors that determine the efficacy of bacteriophages as biocontrol agents include phage particles density in/on a food product, a level of bacterial contamination, the development of bacterial resistance to phages, and phage stability in different foods. Recent clearance by FDA of four bacteriophage preparations for food applications shows that bacteriophages are gradually gaining acceptance as a means of prevention of foodborne infections read more ...
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