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Harefuah. 2004 Feb;143(2):121-5, 166.

[Bacteriophages as antibacterial agents].

[Article in Hebrew]

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  • 1Western Galilee Hospital, Nahariya.


Bacteriophages are viruses that only infect bacteria. They have played an important role in the development of molecular biology and have been used as anti-bacterial agents. Since their independent discovery by Twort and d'Herelle, they have been extensively used to prevent and treat bacterial infections, mainly in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In western countries this method has been sporadically employed on humans and domesticated animals. However, the discovery and widespread use of antibiotics, coupled with doubts about the efficacy of phage therapy, led to an eclipse in the use of phage in medicine. The emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, especially strains that are multiply resistant, has resulted in a renewed interest in alternatives to conventional drugs. One of the possible replacements for antibiotics is the use of bacteriophages as antimicrobial agents. This brief review aims to describe the history of bacteriophage and early clinical studies on their use in bacterial disease prophylaxis and therapy, and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of bacteriophage in this regard.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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