Teràpia fàgica com alternativa als antibiòtics: passat, present i futur

Arrahaoui Douiri, Samira
Antibiotic resistance is a global health concern due to the increase in the number of multidrug resistant pathogens and the few available therapeutic alternatives to combat them. Non-antibiotic therapies are receiving attention as a viable alternative to treat infections caused by resistant pathogens. One of them is the therapeutic use of bacteriophages to target specific bacterial pathogens, the so-called “phage therapy”. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria and, according to recent studies, they are the most abundant biological entities in our planet. Phages have a major role in ecosystems and contribute to the evolution of their hosts. The first studies on phage therapy dated back from the early nineteenth century, but in the last decades these studies notably increased. Phage therapy has recently been re-discovered after being forgotten in the last fifty years due to the success of antibiotics in human medicine. Before the introduction of these drugs, in 1943, phages had already been used to treat infections caused by bacterial pathogens in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The results of these studies were published in non-English journals (Russia and Poland) and, therefore, they were not widely distributed in the scientific community. However, the current rise on the occurrence of multiresistant pathogens, especially strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, has reignited the interest on phage therapy. Recent promising results have led the scientific community to face the future with optimism if phage therapy will be finally applied at larger scales. These benefits have been achieved on the basis of a better knowledge on phage biology, new and optimized technologies to purify phages and their innocuousness to both animals and humans ​
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