Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Review Article
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 2 (3S): 1 - 7. Special Issue-3 (Approaches in Diagnosis and Management of Diseases of Livestock and Poultry)
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Kumaragurubaran Karthik1*, Narayanan Selvaraj Muneeswaran2, Haranahalli Vasanthachar Manjunathachar3, Marappan Gopi4, Appavoo Elamurugan5, Semmannan Kalaiyarasu6
1Division of Bacteriology and Mycology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar; 2Division of Virology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar; 3Division of Parasitology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar; 4Division of Animal Nutrition, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar; 5Immunology Section, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar,6High Security Animal Diseases Labortary, Indian Veterinary Research Institute,Bhopal, India
*Corresponding author:

Bacteriophages are the viruses which infect bacteria and hence, they are friends to human beings. Bacteriophages belong to a group of viruses which have the greatest number of entities in it. There are 10 families of phages which include tailed and sessile phages. Some phages like T4, T7 have an unique structure of having head and tail. Phages follow two patterns of life cycle as lytic and lysogenic cycle. Lytic cycle causes killing of the bacteria and this property is utilized for the phage therapy. Twort and d’Herelle were the two scientists who identified bacteriophage, and contributed immensely to the field of phage therapy. Phages are unique antibacterial agents in their ability to increase their numbers only in the presence of bacterial targets. Bacteriophages are used for the detection of bacteria, typing of bacteria, destruction of biofilms, phage ligand technology, bacteriophage therapy against various infections and phage display. To counteract antibiotic resistance, an increasing menace to the human community, phage therapy is a timely gift. Though bacteria develop resistance to phages rarely, they are less toxic with minimum adverse effects compared to antibiotics and occasionally needs repeated administration. These points favor the use of phages as alternative to antibiotics. Bacteriophage or phage therapy is therefore very useful in various fields like medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, and even agriculture. This current review deals with the history, taxonomy and life cycle of phages, and their uses in veterinary and biomedicine, and the commercially available phage products.

Key Words: Bacteriophages, Antibiotic alternatives, Phage lysins, Phage therapy