What is the role of phages in the cause and therapy of infections?

Nearly a century after the discovery of phages (proper name, bacteriophages), this excellent question remains difficult to answer completely. In short, phages have a very important role in molecular biologic research, an important role in disease pathogenesis, a lesser role in immunodiagnosis, and an unknown role as anti-infectives.

Bacteriophages are a group of viruses (including DNA and RNA viruses) that invade bacterial cells. They were observed and hypothesized to be viruses by Twort in 1915 and independently by d’Herelle in 1917. (1) Experiments using phages performed in the 1950s and 1960s by many now-famous biologists (including Delbruck, Luria, Hershey, Chase, Lwoff, and Lederberg) laid the groundwork for the molecular biology/biotechnology revolution of the past 20 years. Molecular cloning often uses bacteriophages to shuttle DNA into bacterial cells, and new applications for phages continue to be...

You do not currently have access to this content.