Phage-derived lysins as potential agents for eradicating biofilms and persisters

Drug Discov Today. 2018 Apr;23(4):848-856. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2018.01.026. Epub 2018 Jan 8.


Bacterial biofilms are highly resistant to the action of antibiotics. Presence of persisters, phenotypically resistant populations of bacterial cells, is thought to contribute toward recalcitrance of biofilms. The phage-derived lysins, by virtue of their ability to cleave the peptidoglycan of bacterial cells in an enzymatic manner, have the unique ability to kill dormant cells. Several lysins have shown potent antibiofilm activity in vitro. The fact that lysins have shown better efficacy than conventional drugs in animal models of endocarditis and other infections involving biofilms suggests that the lysins can potentially be developed against difficult-to-treat bacterial infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Bacteriophages / metabolism*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Mucoproteins / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Mucoproteins
  • lysin, gastropoda