Submitted to: Intech
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/23/2011
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. They are ubiquitous and can be found in all environments populated by their bacterial hosts, such as soil or the intestines of animals. Bacteriophages have been used for over 60 years as an alternative to antibiotics in Russia and Eastern Europe. Consequently, bacterial viruses are again being considered as a possible therapy against multi-drug resistant strains of many pathogenic bacteria in other countries. Clostridium perfringens causes food-borne disease and gas gangrene among humans as well as necrotic enteritis in chickens. Since the European Union and other countries have removed antibiotics in animal feeds there may be a need for alternatives to antibiotics to control bacteria such as Clostridium perfringens in commercial poultry. Bacteriophages that infect bacteria such as Clostridium perfringens or the viral lytic proteins can potentially be used to control this and other bacteria.
Technical Abstract: The specific aims of the book chapter are to: (1) Briefly review the nomenclature of bacteriophages and how these agents are classified. (2) Discuss the problems associated with addition/removal of antibiotics in commercial animal feeds. (3) Provide a brief overview of Clostridium perfringens biology with respect to food-safety and veterinary issues. (4) Report on the early literature that is primarily descriptive for C. perfringens bacteriophages. (5) Describe the characteristics for C. perfringens bacteriophage/prophage genomes. (6) Discuss the potential for the use of bacteriophage gene products (lytic proteins) to control the pathogenic bacterium C. perfringens.