Journal article Open Access

The use of bacteriophages as One-Health approach to reduce multidrug-resistant bacteria

Kittler, Sophie; Wittmann, Johannes; Mengden, Ruth Anna Lisa Perihan; Klein, Günter; Rohde, Christine; Lehnherr, Hansjörg

Multidrug-resistant bacteria are increasingly present in humans, animals and the environment. They pose a serious health risk, especially for hospitalized patients. Policymakers, scientists and industry are called to intensify innovation and research for developing new vaccines, diagnostics and infection treatment options. However, very few new antibacterial drugs have been developed in the last decade and several experts already fear that the supply of new antimicrobial agents will one day dry up. Bacteriophages are viruses that specifically and exclusively attack bacteria. They can be isolated from all environments where their host bacteria exist and can be used for decontamination in all stages of food production, for clinical therapy and for prevention of animal disease in livestock. They can thus help us in terms of a One-Health strategy aiming at reducing the selective pressure for resistant bacteria due to reduced release of antibiotics into the environment. Bacteriophages can also help us to treat human and animal infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria.

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