Efficacy of experimental phage therapies in livestock.Anim Health Res Rev. 2020 Jun 19 [Online ahead of print]AH
Bacteriophages are the most abundant form of life on earth and are present everywhere. The total number of bacteriophages has been estimated to be 1032 virions. The main division of bacteriophages is based on the type of nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) and on the structure of the capsid. Due to the significant increase in the number of multi-drug-resistant bacteria, bacteriophages could be a useful tool as an alternative to antibiotics in experimental therapies to prevent and to control bacterial infections in people and animals. The aim of this review was to discuss the history of phage therapy as a replacement for antibiotics, in response to EU regulations prohibiting the use of antibiotics in livestock, and to present current examples and results of experimental phage treatments in comparison to antibiotics. The use of bacteriophages to control human infections has had a high success rate, especially in mixed infections caused mainly by Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Enterobacter, and Enterococcus. Bacteriophages have also proven to be an effective tool in experimental treatments for combating diseases in livestock.