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Viruses 2018, 10(7), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10070351

Resistance Development to Bacteriophages Occurring during Bacteriophage Therapy

Department of Fundamental Microbiology (DMF), University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 30 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hurdles for Phage Therapy (PT) to Become a Reality)
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Abstract

Bacteriophage (phage) therapy, i.e., the use of viruses that infect bacteria as antimicrobial agents, is a promising alternative to conventional antibiotics. Indeed, resistance to antibiotics has become a major public health problem after decades of extensive usage. However, one of the main questions regarding phage therapy is the possible rapid emergence of phage-resistant bacterial variants, which could impede favourable treatment outcomes. Experimental data has shown that phage-resistant variants occurred in up to 80% of studies targeting the intestinal milieu and 50% of studies using sepsis models. Phage-resistant variants have also been observed in human studies, as described in three out of four clinical trials that recorded the emergence of phage resistance. On the other hand, recent animal studies suggest that bacterial mutations that confer phage-resistance may result in fitness costs in the resistant bacterium, which, in turn, could benefit the host. Thus, phage resistance should not be underestimated and efforts should be made to develop methodologies for monitoring and preventing it. Moreover, understanding and taking advantage of the resistance-induced fitness costs in bacterial pathogens is a potentially promising avenue. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteriophage; phage; phage therapy; phage-resistance bacteriophage; phage; phage therapy; phage-resistance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Oechslin, F. Resistance Development to Bacteriophages Occurring during Bacteriophage Therapy. Viruses 2018, 10, 351.

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