Caister Academic Press

Using What Phage Have Evolved to Kill Pathogenic Bacteria

Vincent A. Fischetti
from: Phage Therapy: Current Research and Applications (Edited by: Jan Borysowski, Ryszard Międzybrodzki and Andrzej Górski). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2014)


Bacteriophage (or phage) endolysins (or lysins) are highly evolved enzymes produced to cleave essential bonds in the bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan for phage progeny release. Small quantities of purified recombinant lysin added externally to gram-positive bacteria cause immediate lysis resulting in log-fold death of the target bacterium. Lysins have now been used successfully in a variety of animal models to control pathogenic antibiotic resistant bacteria found on mucosal surfaces and in infected tissues. The advantages over antibiotics are their specificity for the pathogen even antibiotic resistant organisms without disturbing the normal flora, the low chance of bacterial resistance, and their ability to kill colonizing pathogens on mucosal surfaces, a capacity previously unavailable. Lysins therefore, may be a much-needed anti-infective (or enzybiotic) in an age of mounting antibiotic resistance read more ...
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