Phage Therapy as an Emerging Antibiotic Alternative
In 2019, nearly 5 million deaths worldwide were attributed to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), underscoring its profound threat to global public health. AMR causes traditional antibiotics to lose effectiveness against bacterial infections due to the emergence of resistant bacteria. Consequently, phage therapy, which employs bacteria viruses to combat bacterial infections, has become a potential solution. Phages can enhance antibiotic sensitivity by targeting bacterial mutants, influencing the evolution of populations and impacting receptors responsible for antibiotic efflux from cells.
Despite the advantages, several limitations to the use of bacteriophages exist. Phage-Antibiotic Synergy (PAS) may address these limitations. PAS describes the phenomenon of improved antimicrobial effect caused by stimulated phage replication in the presence of sublethal concentrations of antibiotics. Phage-antibiotic therapy has effectively reduced the emergence of phage-resistant and antibiotic-resistant strains simultaneously.