Phage therapy is the therapeutic use of lytic bacteriophages to treat pathogenic bacterial infections especially multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria infections. Creative Biolabs has accumulated a lot of experience in phage therapy area, and provides one-stop services for the development of best-in-class phage therapy.
Phages are the natural enemies of bacteria. They only attack bacteria and are harmless to people, animals, and plants. Utilizing this property of phage, phage therapy is proposed to treat bacterial infections. The first use of phage therapy traces back to almost a century ago, which is earlier than antibiotics application. Phage therapy has received relatively little attention due to the powerful antibacterial effects of antibiotics. But with the rapid emergence of multiple antibiotic-resistant (or multidrug-resistant, MDR) bacteria, there is renewed interest in using phages as therapeutic agents.
Fig. 1 Lytic Cycle of Bacteriophage.
Compared to antibiotics, phage therapy has two key advantages:
Each type of phage only attacks a certain bacterium strain and not other types of bacteria. While antibiotics attack more than one kind of bacteria including some good normal bacteria in the body, thus may leading to some side effects such as upset stomach, cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
The overuse of antibiotics leads to the generation of MDR bacteria which may trigger the most frequent and severe infection. Phage therapy is a potential treatment for MDR infection. When bacteria evolve into MDR bacteria, phages subsequently evolve into stronger phages against the MDR bacteria.
Monophage therapy refers to the use of a single phage type as therapeutic agent. It is primarily used for development of phage therapy experimental models, as proof of concept during the design and testing of phage preparations. The disadvantages of monophage therapy are that it requires precise matching between the pathogen and the phage.
Polyphage therapy, also known as phage cocktails, utilizes a combination of phages as therapeutic agent. Compared to monophage therapy, polyphage therapy targets multiple strains of a single bacterial species or multiple species. In Russia and Georgia, phage cocktails are used as over-the-counter medication for the treatment of bacterial infections of broad etiology.
Virion-associated peptidoglycan hydrolases (VAPGH) and polysaccharide depolymerases are two groups of proteins that are required during phage adsorption to the host and ejection of its genome. VAPGH on the phage base plate can locally degrade bacterial peptidoglycan layer, accelerating the ejection of phage genome into the host. Polysaccharide depolymerases can specifically degrade the polysaccharide components of bacterial cell envelope, even the biofilms. These enzymes help to phage adsorption, invasion, and disintegrating to the host bacteria. In view of the special functions of these phage-derived proteins, they can be explored and developed into novel antibiotics, adjuvants for antibiotics, and bacterial biofilm disruptants.
Phages can be genetically engineered into therapeutic agents by incorporating dominant sensitive genes of reversing antibiotic resistance or antibiotic genes into phage genome. And engineered phages can deliver therapeutic agents into target bacterial cells. Besides, phages can be also genetically modified to have a broader therapeutic potential, including expanding its host range, changing host tropism, and modification of phage capsids.
Fig. 2 Approaches to phage therapy delivery. (Altamirano, 2019)
Creative Biolabs is an outstanding biopharmaceutical company that is engaged in exploring effective and safe treatments to improve human health. We have organized a staff of scientists with extensive experience and expertise in the research of phage therapy and are committed to providing best-in-class, one-stop services for global clients. Our service portfolio includes:
If you are interested in phage therapy, please feel free to contact us for more details.
* For Research Use Only. We do not provide direct services or products for patients.