The untapped potential of phage model systems as therapeutic agents

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Jordan Romeyer Dherbey , Frederic Bertels


With the emergence of widespread antibiotic resistance, phages are an appealing alternative to antibiotics in the fight against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Over the past few years, many phages have been isolated from various environments to treat bacterial pathogens. While isolating novel phages for treatment has had some success for compassionate use, developing novel phages into a general therapeutic will require considerable time and financial resource investments. These investments may be less significant for well-established phage model systems. The knowledge acquired from decades of research on their structure, life cycle, and evolution ensures safe application and efficient handling. The only current downside of established model systems is their inability to infect pathogenic bacteria. However, evolutionary experiments have shown that it is possible to extend the host range of phages to infect previously resistant bacteria. The same experiments could be used in the future to breed model phages to infect pathogens and hence could provide a new avenue to develop phage therapeutic agents.



Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Medical Microbiology, Microbiology


Antibiotic Resistance, Phage model systems, ΦX174, Phage therapy, Phage model systems, ΦX174


Published: 2023-07-28 21:09

Last Updated: 2023-10-12 06:41

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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