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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Mar;62(5):511-9.

The potential role of endogenous bacteriophages in controlling invading pathogens.

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L. Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, 53114, Wroclaw, Poland.


Bacteriophages (phages) are omnipresent in our environment, and recent studies highlight their potential impact on the microbial world. Phages can also be present in mammalian organisms, including man (intestines, oral cavity, urine, sputum and serum). Data are available which suggest that those endogenous phages could play an important role in eliminating bacteria and regulating the body ecosystem. Furthermore, our most recent findings suggest that phages can exert immunosuppressive action in the gut, helping control local inflammatory and autoimmune reactions, and demonstrate anticancer activity. We hypothesize that phages could act in concert with the immune system in immunosurveillance against bacteria, viruses and cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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