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Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2013;4:347-68. doi: 10.1146/annurev-food-030212-182541. Epub 2012 Dec 14.

Bacteriophages in food fermentations: new frontiers in a continuous arms race.

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Département debiochimie, de microbiologie et de bio-informatique, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.


Phage contamination represents an important risk to any process requiring bacterial growth, particularly in the biotechnology and food industries. The presence of unwanted phages may lead to manufacturing delays, lower quality product, or, in the worst cases, total production loss. Thus, constant phage monitoring and stringent application of the appropriate control measures are indispensable. In fact, a systematic preventive approach to phage contamination [phage analysis and critical control points (PACCP)] should be put in place. In this review, sources of phage contamination and novel phage detection methods are described, with an emphasis on bacterial viruses that infect lactic acid bacteria used in food fermentations. Recent discoveries related to antiphage systems that are changing our views on phage-host interactions are highlighted. Finally, future directions are also discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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