Phage therapy, an alternative to antibiotic therapy?
JORDI REINA, NURIA REINA
Bacteriophages are viruses that infect and parasitize bacteria. They can present a lytic cycle that determines the lysis of the infected bacteria. Each phage is specific to a particular bacterial genus or species.
The current increase in the incidence of antibiotic resistance in human bacteria has favored the study of phages as a therapeutic alternative (phage therapy). Previous studies have shown the efficacy of these elements in cutaneous and intestinal infections. Different clinical trials are underway to establish the safety, reactogenicity and therapeutic efficacy of multiple phage.
Being active elements, phages must undergo rigorous quality controls to ensure the absence of undesirable effects. The bacterial lysis that they cause is of a magnitude inferior to the one provoked by the antibiotics. As problems to be solved in the future are the possibility of using mixtures of several phages, establish the ideal route of administration and modify them genetically to deactivate bacterial resistance genes.
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