Bacteriophages, a Solution to the Destruction of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria


  • Daniela Moţ University of Life Sciences ̋ King Michael I ̋, Faculty of Bioengineering of Animal Resources, 300645-Timişoara, 119, Aradului, Romania
  • Emil Tîrziu University of Life Sciences King Michael I ̋, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, 300645-Timişoara, 119, Aradului, Romania


antibiotic resistance, bacteriophages, lytic effect, phage therapy


Bacteriophage is the generic name given to microorganisms that can destroy bacteria. The name (which comes from the Latin bacteria and the Greek φᾰγεῖν phagein - "to eat", "to devour") was introduced by the Canadian bacteriologist Félix d'Herelle in 1917, the year he discovered a virus possessing such characteristics. Also called bacteria-eating viruses, bacteriophages represent a group of viruses with a destructive effect on bacteria (lytic effect), being widespread in nature, in all living environments (water, soil, air). Discovered during the First World War and developed in the 1920s and 1930s, phage therapy is currently making a comeback and enjoying a renewed interest in countries such as the USA, Belgium and France, in parallel with the development of antibiotic resistance, in the face of the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, a challenge for the whole planet. Today, phage therapy has begun to be used to disinfect food. Also, before surgery, in some hospitals, bacteriophages are sprayed in the operating rooms to reduce the risk of infection. Through their mechanism of action, bacteriophages can become a kind of additional immune system for organisms, and phage therapy, a therapy to be studied and perspective for maintaining human and animal health.


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