Bacteriophages (BPs) are viruses that can infect and kill bacteria without any negative effect on human or animal cells. For this reason, it is supposed that they can be used, alone or in combination with antibiotics, to treat bacterial infections. In this narrative review, the advantages and limitations of BPs for use in humans will be discussed. PubMed was used to search for all of the studies published from January 2008 to December 2018 using the key words: "BPs" or "phages" and "bacterial infection" or "antibiotic" or "infectious diseases." More than 100 articles were found, but only those published in English or providing evidence-based data were included in the evaluation. Literature review showed that the rapid rise of multi-drug-resistant bacteria worldwide coupled with a decline in the development and production of novel antibacterial agents have led scientists to consider BPs for treatment of bacterial infection. Use of BPs to overcome the problem of increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics is attractive, and some research data seem to indicate that it might be a rational measure. However, present knowledge seems insufficient to allow the use of BPs for this purpose. To date, the problem of how to prepare the formulations for clinical use and how to avoid or limit the risk of emergence of bacterial resistance through the transmission of genetic material are not completely solved problems. Further studies specifically devoted to solve these problems are needed before BPs can be used in humans.

Advantages and Limitations of Bacteriophages for the Treatment of Bacterial Infections

SILVESTRI, ETTORE;Esposito S.
2019

Abstract

Bacteriophages (BPs) are viruses that can infect and kill bacteria without any negative effect on human or animal cells. For this reason, it is supposed that they can be used, alone or in combination with antibiotics, to treat bacterial infections. In this narrative review, the advantages and limitations of BPs for use in humans will be discussed. PubMed was used to search for all of the studies published from January 2008 to December 2018 using the key words: "BPs" or "phages" and "bacterial infection" or "antibiotic" or "infectious diseases." More than 100 articles were found, but only those published in English or providing evidence-based data were included in the evaluation. Literature review showed that the rapid rise of multi-drug-resistant bacteria worldwide coupled with a decline in the development and production of novel antibacterial agents have led scientists to consider BPs for treatment of bacterial infection. Use of BPs to overcome the problem of increasing bacterial resistance to antibiotics is attractive, and some research data seem to indicate that it might be a rational measure. However, present knowledge seems insufficient to allow the use of BPs for this purpose. To date, the problem of how to prepare the formulations for clinical use and how to avoid or limit the risk of emergence of bacterial resistance through the transmission of genetic material are not completely solved problems. Further studies specifically devoted to solve these problems are needed before BPs can be used in humans.
2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1450863
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