Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2021 Oct 1;34(5):491-499. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000772.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Alarming rates of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and gastrointestinal dysbiosis associated with traditional antimicrobial therapy have led to renewed interests in developing bacteriophages as novel therapeutics. In this review, we highlight some of the recent advances in bacteriophage therapeutic development targeting important enteropathogens of the gastrointestinal tract.
RECENT FINDINGS: Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, either to utilize the bacterial machinery to produce new progeny or stably integrate into the bacterial chromosome to ensure maintenance of the viral genome. With recent advances in synthetic biology and the discovery of CRISPR-Cas systems used by bacteria to protect against bacteriophages, novel molecular applications are taking us beyond the discovery of bacteriophages and toward innovative applications, including the targeting of bacterial virulence factors, the use of temperate bacteriophages, and the production of bacteriophage proteins as antimicrobial agents. These technologies offer promise to target enteropathogens without disrupting the healthy microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract. Moreover, the use of nanoparticle technology and other modifications are helping researchers circumvent the harsh gastrointestinal conditions that could limit the efficacy of bacteriophages against enteric pathogens.
SUMMARY: This era of discovery and development offers significant potential to modify bacteriophages and overcome the global impact of enteropathogens.