Bacteriophages to Combat Bacterial Growth
• A bacteriophage is a virus that infects a bacterium and replicates its own genetic material within the bacteria, derstroying them in the process.
• Bacteriophages were discovered in 1915 and immediately recognized as potential antimicrobials.
• Bacteriophages were successfully used to treat dysentery by Felix d’Herelle in 1919 and have also been shown to have therapeutic value in experiments conducted in 1941 by scientists in Russia and Georgia.
• In 2006, Listex P100, a bacteriophage designed to target pathogenic strains of Listeria, became the first bacteriophage to be approved for commercial use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was granted Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status.
• Stop Foodborne Illness recognizes the potential for bacteriophages to serve as effective antimicrobials and advocates for further research on the antimicrobial applications of bacteriophages, especially in light of antibiotic-resistance concerns.