phage therapy


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phage therapy

the use of bacterial viruses (see VIRUS) to treat bacterial infections. Phage therapy offers a number of advantages over antibiotic therapy, for example phages offer high specificity for the target organism and have no effect on non-target organisms. Furthermore, they can mutate to overcome host resistance mutations. However, phages are often eliminated by the body's defence mechanisms (see IMMUNE SYSTEM) and this together with the production of endotoxins, which can result from lysis of bacteria by phages, has made such therapy less widely accepted. Nevertheless, the rapid emergence of multiple antibiotic-resistant bacteria has led to a renewed interest in the use of phages as therapeutic agents.
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