Bacteriophages in the Dairy Environment: From Enemies to Allies
Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (IPLA-CSIC), Paseo Río Linares s/n, Villaviciosa, 33300 Asturias, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christopher C. Butler
Antibiotics 2017, 6(4), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antibiotics6040027
Received: 5 October 2017 / Revised: 3 November 2017 / Accepted: 6 November 2017 / Published: 8 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacteriophages: Alternatives to Antibiotics and Beyond)
The history of dairy farming goes back thousands of years, evolving from a traditional small-scale production to the industrialized manufacturing of fermented dairy products. Commercialization of milk and its derived products has been very important not only as a source of nourishment but also as an economic resource. However, the dairy industry has encountered several problems that have to be overcome to ensure the quality and safety of the final products, as well as to avoid economic losses. Within this context, it is interesting to highlight the role played by bacteriophages, or phages, viruses that infect bacteria. Indeed, bacteriophages were originally regarded as a nuisance, being responsible for fermentation failure and economic losses when infecting lactic acid bacteria, but are now considered promising antimicrobials to fight milk-borne pathogens without contributing to the increase in antibiotic resistance.