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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2008 Oct;11(5):393-400. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2008.09.012. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

Bacteriophage lysins as effective antibacterials.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis, Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA. vaf@rockefeller.edu

Abstract

Lysins are highly evolved enzymes produced by bacteriophage (phage for short) to digest the bacterial cell wall for phage progeny release. In Gram-positive bacteria, small quantities of purified recombinant lysin added externally results in immediate lysis causing log-fold death of the target bacterium. Lysins have been used successfully in a variety of animal models to control pathogenic antibiotic resistant bacteria found on mucosal surfaces and infected tissues. The advantages over antibiotics are their specificity for the pathogen without disturbing the normal flora, the low chance of bacterial resistance to lysins, and their ability to kill colonizing pathogens on mucosal surfaces, a capacity previously unavailable. Thus, lysins may be a much needed anti-infective in an age of mounting antibiotic resistance.

PMID:
18824123
PMCID:
PMC2597892
DOI:
10.1016/j.mib.2008.09.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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