The next generation of bacteriophage therapy

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2011 Oct;14(5):524-31. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2011.07.028. Epub 2011 Aug 23.


Bacteriophage therapy for bacterial infections is a concept with an extensive but controversial history. There has been a recent resurgence of interest into bacteriophages owing to the increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance and virulent bacterial pathogens. Despite these efforts, bacteriophage therapy remains an underutilized option in Western medicine due to challenges such as regulation, limited host range, bacterial resistance to phages, manufacturing, side effects of bacterial lysis, and delivery. Recent advances in biotechnology, bacterial diagnostics, macromolecule delivery, and synthetic biology may help to overcome these technical hurdles. These research efforts must be coupled with practical and rigorous approaches at academic, commercial, and regulatory levels in order to successfully advance bacteriophage therapy into clinical settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / virology*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / therapy*
  • Bacteriophages / growth & development*
  • Biological Therapy / methods*
  • Complementary Therapies / methods*
  • Humans