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Review

The Age of Phage: Friend or Foe in the New Dawn of Therapeutic and Biocontrol Applications?

1
Guelph Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Guelph, ON N1G 5C9, Canada
2
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
3
Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
4
Department of Food Science, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen T. Abedon
Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14(3), 199; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14030199
Received: 12 January 2021 / Revised: 22 February 2021 / Accepted: 25 February 2021 / Published: 28 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phage Therapy and Phage-Mediated Biological Control 2021)
Extended overuse and misuse of antibiotics and other antibacterial agents has resulted in an antimicrobial resistance crisis. Bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, have emerged as a legitimate alternative antibacterial agent with a wide scope of applications which continue to be discovered and refined. However, the potential of some bacteriophages to aid in the acquisition, maintenance, and dissemination of negatively associated bacterial genes, including resistance and virulence genes, through transduction is of concern and requires deeper understanding in order to be properly addressed. In particular, their ability to interact with mobile genetic elements such as plasmids, genomic islands, and integrative conjugative elements (ICEs) enables bacteriophages to contribute greatly to bacterial evolution. Nonetheless, bacteriophages have the potential to be used as therapeutic and biocontrol agents within medical, agricultural, and food processing settings, against bacteria in both planktonic and biofilm environments. Additionally, bacteriophages have been deployed in developing rapid, sensitive, and specific biosensors for various bacterial targets. Intriguingly, their bioengineering capabilities show great promise in improving their adaptability and effectiveness as biocontrol and detection tools. This review aims to provide a balanced perspective on bacteriophages by outlining advantages, challenges, and future steps needed in order to boost their therapeutic and biocontrol potential, while also providing insight on their potential role in contributing to bacterial evolution and survival. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteriophage; phage therapy; biocontrol; transduction; antibiotic resistance bacteriophage; phage therapy; biocontrol; transduction; antibiotic resistance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hassan, A.Y.; Lin, J.T.; Ricker, N.; Anany, H. The Age of Phage: Friend or Foe in the New Dawn of Therapeutic and Biocontrol Applications? Pharmaceuticals 2021, 14, 199. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14030199

AMA Style

Hassan AY, Lin JT, Ricker N, Anany H. The Age of Phage: Friend or Foe in the New Dawn of Therapeutic and Biocontrol Applications? Pharmaceuticals. 2021; 14(3):199. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14030199

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hassan, Ahmad Y., Janet T. Lin, Nicole Ricker, and Hany Anany. 2021. "The Age of Phage: Friend or Foe in the New Dawn of Therapeutic and Biocontrol Applications?" Pharmaceuticals 14, no. 3: 199. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ph14030199

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