Phage-based biocontrol strategies to reduce foodborne pathogens in foods

Bacteriophage. 2011 May;1(3):130-137. doi: 10.4161/bact.1.3.17629. Epub 2011 May 1.


There has been much recent interest in the use of phages as biocontrol agents of foodborne pathogens in animals used for food production, and in the food products themselves. This interest seems to be driven by consumers' request for more natural foods, as well as the fact that foodborne outbreaks continue to occur, globally, in many foods, some of which (such as fresh produce), lack adequate methods to control any pathogenic contamination present. Also, the many successes with respect to regulatory approval of phage based products destined for use in foods is leading to an increase in the number of phage products that are commercially available. At present, these products are directed against three main foodborne pathogens including Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp and Listeria monocytogenes. In the future, it is likely that new phage products will be targeted against emerging foodborne pathogens. Here, we review the current literature and status of phage based strategies aimed at reducing the presence of foodborne pathogenic bacteria in food and the food production environment.