Review Article of International Journal of Animal Research
Review on the use of Bacteriophages as a promising way of mitigating the crisis of Antimicrobial resistance
Rekik Getahoun, Getahun Shawul, Kibeb Legesse and Asmelash Tassew*
Addis Ababa University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture , Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Immunology and Public health, P.O.Box: 34; Debre Zeit, Ethiopia
Antibiotic resistance is considered as a major threat to therapeutics in this era. This resistance has occurred due to various actions that neglect the ethical use of antimicrobials and antibiotics ending up in the abuse of these drugs in clinical, veterinary or agricultural practices. As the number of resistant pathogens increase, more drugs are being produced to cope with the situation and many research methodologies have been carried out in search of an alternative antimicrobial to assuage the threat of antimicrobial resistance. Consequently, phage therapy was discovered and considered effective as well as an alternative way to control the problem of antimicrobial and antibiotic resistance. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect and lyse bacteria. They are commonly referred to as “phage”. They are obligate intracellular parasites that multiply inside bacteria by making use of some or all of the host biosynthetic machinery. The nucleic acids of phages often contain unusual or modified bases, which protect phage nucleic acid from nucleases that break down host nucleic acids during phage infection. Depending upon the phage, the nucleic acid can be either DNA or RNA but not both. Due to their unique characteristics they are considered more effective than other alternatives. Previous trials in the use of bacteriophages have proved that phage as therapeutics have the ability to target bacteria of certain strains or species, without any harmful effect on the rest of the bacterial microflora. Moreover, bacterial antibiotic resistance is not a barrier for phage therapy and they are more effective when combined with antibiotics. This paper briefly reviews the use of phage therapy as an effective alternative to mitigate the global anti microbial resistance problem we are currently battling.
Keywords: Alternative therapy, Antibiotic resistance, Bacteriophage, Phage therapy