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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #292314


Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Use of Bacteriophages to control bacterial pathogens

item Sharma, Manan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2013
Publication Date: 3/28/2013
Citation: Sharma, M. 2013. Use of Bacteriophages to control bacterial pathogens. [abstract]. 11th Annual Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference abstract book p.137-144.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Lytic bacteriophages can provide a natural method and an effective alternative to antibiotics to reduce bacterial pathogens in animals, foods, and other environments. Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses which infect bacterial cells and eventually kill them through lysis, and represent the most abundant living entity on earth and have been isolated from animals, foods, surface waters, and soils. The effectiveness of bacteriophages depends on the specific bacteriophage being used (including the multiplicity of infection and burst size), the target pathogen, and the environment in which it is being applied. Lytic bacteriophages have been shown to be effective in reducing various pathogens (including Salmonella spp.) in poultry, along with other pathogens in other livestock. The effectiveness of these treatments in reducing target pathogen loads depends on the amount of phage used, how it is in introduced to the animal (e.g., aerosol spray, through feed), and the interactions of the other gut microflora and the target pathogen and specific bacteriophages. To minimize and reduce the development of resistance to bacteriophage infection and lysis, multiple bacteriophages specific for the same pathogen are usually used in the same cocktail to prevent the development bacteriophage insensitive mutants (BIM). Bacteriophages may provide a useful and effective alternative to antibiotics if used judiciously.