Enzybiotics: a look to the future, recalling the past

J Pharm Sci. 2007 Aug;96(8):1917-24. doi: 10.1002/jps.20853.


The discovery and development of antibiotics was one of the greatest successes of Medicine in the 20th century and allowed the control of many diseases caused by microorganisms. Nevertheless, it is necessary to search constantly for new therapeutic tools in the continuing fight against disease-causing microorganisms and this probably leads us to today's concept of enzybiotics. Although microorganism-degrading enzymes have been known since the beginning of the last century, their use was soon forgotten because of the widespread use of antibiotics. The term enzybiotic is a hybrid word from "enzyme" and "antibiotic" and refers to phages: that is, viruses that attack and lyse bacteria and that can potentially help us to fight bacterial diseases. If the concept of enzybiotic is extended to antifungal enzymes, an enormous potential in the struggle against microorganism-due diseases may become available in the foreseeable future.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / history*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteriophages / chemistry
  • Bacteriophages / genetics
  • Drug Resistance / drug effects*
  • Drug Resistance / genetics
  • Enzymes / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Protein Binding
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Enzymes