KyleHlavinkaDr.GonzalezBESC481C-Section 39018January 2018Bacteriophage Treatment for Diseases inAnimalsAntibiotics provide a technique to reducethe incidence of disease in animals. However, the use and overuse ofantibiotics has brought about resistance in certain strains of bacteria.Therefore, alternative methods have been sought out in order to treat animalswith infection by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Of these methods, bacteriophagetherapy has gained traction.
Phage were discovered in 1915 byFrederick Twort, and were first used in treatment by Fe?lix d’He?relle.Although the therapy showed promise, inadequate commercial implementation andexperimentation barred phage therapy an opportunity for success. A recentresurgence in interest of phage therapy began in the 1980s, leading to currentadvances. Bacteriophage are composed of nucleicacid, single or double stranded DNA or RNA, enclosed in a capsid. They may alsocontain a tail, which helps in interaction between phage and bacteria.Bacteriophage can be either icosahedral or filamentous and have either lytic orlysogenic reproductive cycles.
Lytic phage hi-jack the cell’s machinery forreproduction then lyse the cell to release its progeny. Lysogenic bacteriophageare considered temperate and incorporate their nucleic acid into the hostchromosome for reproduction. Consequently, lysogenic phage do not lyse theirhost. Phage therapy is of interest because ofits high precision and ability to selectively treat certain pathogenicbacteria. The intricate relationship between bacteriophage and bacteria providesthe specificity required for this precision. Moreover, phage treatment ispromising because of its potential safety. Because bacteriophage attack onlyprokaryotic cells, the eukaryotic cells in animals will be largely unharmed. Furthermore,the ubiquity of phage is favorable.
This is not to say there aren’t challengesof phage therapy. When cells are lysed endotoxin is released which could leadto difficulties in systems. Phage are also required in quantities that would bedetrimental to bacterial colonies, which could be considered an obstacle inapplication. Obviously, other advantages and disadvantages exist in phagetherapy.
Overall phage therapy could be auspiciousin the treatment of bacterial infection.