Bacteriophages or phages are bacterial viruses that are known to invade bacterial cells and, in the case of the lytic phages, impair bacterial metabolism, causing them to lyse. Since the discovery of these microorganisms by Felix d’Herelle, a French-Canadian microbiologist who worked at Institut Pasteur in Paris, Bacteriophages begin to be used in the treatment of human diseases, like dysentery and staphylococcal skin disease. However, due to the controversial efficacy of phage preparations, and with the advent of antibiotics, commercial production of therapeutic phage preparations ceased in most of the Western world. Nevertheless, phages continued to be used as therapeutic agents (together with or instead of antibiotics) in Eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union. Therefore, there is a sufficient body of data that incite the accomplishment of further studies in the field of phage therapy.
Part of the book: Bacteriophages in Therapeutics