Special Issue "Hurdles for Phage Therapy (PT) to Become a Reality"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 February 2019)
Dr. Harald Brüssow
Nestlé Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland
Interests: Diarrhea, Bacteriophages, Microbiota, Nutrition and Health, Pediatrics
With the rise of antibiotic resistance to critical levels in a number of important bacterial pathogens, a return to a pre-antibiotic era is feared. Consequently, interest into alternative antimicrobial agents has grown. Phage therapy is a potential alternative or an adjunct to antibiotics. Indeed, commercial phage cocktails against numerous bacterial infections are available as over-the-counter drugs in several member states of the former Soviet Union. However, only few exploratory controlled human phage therapy trials have been conducted outside the Soviet Union and no phage products have so far been registered for medical use in Western countries.
In this Special Issue of Viruses, we want to explore reasons for the lack of clinical progress in the field of phage therapy by conducting a gap analysis. Particularly welcome are critical analyses of our knowledge gaps on phage-pathogen interaction in animal or human hosts, articles that suggest regulatory requirements for such medical phage products, contributions that discuss models to finance phage production and controlled clinical trials, and discussions on the role of governmental and international health agencies in this process. Phage therapy will not be a panacea and we invite manuscripts that identify infectious diseases that are likely to respond to phage therapy.
Specific knowledge gaps:
1) What in vitro phenotypes of phages could guide the selection of phages with suitable in vivo phenotype for PT?
2) Is metagenome analysis from natural infection sites in humans a better way to identify phages with suitable in vivo replication potential?
3) The problem of producing the therapeutically phage on pathogenic vs. non-pathogenic production strains.
4) Purification, formulation and genetic safety assessment of the produced phages.
5) Resistance development to phages occurring during PT.
6) The unchartered area of phage-bacterium interaction within the mammalian or avian host.
7) Is it possible to formulate a set of rules with respect to infection type, which predict successful interventions?
8) Learning lessons from previous clinical trials.
9) The regulatory framework for PT.
10) Need PT trials be organized by governmental agencies?
11) NGO and crowd funding for PT in developing countries.
Dr. Harald Brüssow
Manuscript Submission Information
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- Phage therapy
- phage phenotypes
- infection targets
- in vivo phage-bacterium interaction
- clinical trial organization