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Designing Phage Therapeutics

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Abstract:

Phage therapy is the application of phages to bodies, substances, or environments to effect the biocontrol of pathogenic or nuisance bacteria. To be effective, phages, minimally, must be capable of attaching to bacteria (adsorption), killing those bacteria (usually associated with phage infection), and otherwise surviving (resisting decay) until they achieve attachment and subsequent killing. While a strength of phage therapy is that phages that possess appropriate properties can be chosen from a large diversity of naturally occurring phages, a more rational approach to phage therapy also can include post-isolation manipulation of phages genetically, phenotypically, or in terms of combining different products into a single formulation. Genetic manipulation, especially in these modern times, can involve genetic engineering, though a more traditional approach involves the selection of spontaneously occurring phage mutants during serial transfer protocols. While genetic modification typically is done to give rise to phenotypic changes in phages, phage phenotype alone can also be modified in vitro, prior to phage application for therapeutic purposes, as for the sake of improving phage lethality (such as by linking phage virions to antibacterial chemicals such as chloramphenicol) or survival capabilities (e.g., via virion PEGylation). Finally, phages, both naturally occurring isolates or otherwise modified constructs, can be combined into cocktails which provide collectively enhanced capabilities such as expanded overall host range. Generally these strategies represent different routes towards improving phage therapy formulations and thereby efficacy through informed design.





Keywords: Genetic engineering; phage cocktails; rational design

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2174/138920110790725348

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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