Health

Bacteriophages offer promising alternative to antibiotics

Results from a new clinical study have confirmed the safety and tolerability of using bacteria-specific viruses known as bacteriophages to eliminate disease-causing bacteria in the gut. The new treatment could be used in ...

Parkinson's & Movement disorders

Bacteriophages: Are they an overlooked driver of Parkinson's disease?

In the first study of its kind, researchers from the New York-based Human Microbiology Institute have discovered the role certain bacteriophages may play in the onset of Parkinson's disease (PD). The research is presented ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Using viruses to fight infection

Scientists at the University of Brighton have shown viruses that can kill bacteria may be used to combat common infections related to the use of medical devices such as catheters.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Bacteria-eating viruses 'magic bullets in the war on superbugs'

A specialist team of scientists from the University of Leicester has isolated viruses that eat bacteria—called phages—to specifically target the highly infectious hospital superbug Clostridium difficile (C. diff).

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Bacteriophages battle superbugs

IFR microbiologists are reinvigorating a way of battling C. difficile infections that they hope will help overcome the growing problem of antibiotic resistant superbugs in hospitals.

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Bacteriophage

A bacteriophage (from 'bacteria' and Greek φαγεῖν phagein "to devour") is any one of a number of viruses that infect bacteria. They do this by injecting genetic material, which they carry enclosed in an outer protein capsid. The genetic material can be ssRNA, dsRNA, ssDNA, or dsDNA ('ss-' or 'ds-' prefix denotes single-strand or double-strand) along with either circular or linear arrangement.

Bacteriophages are among the most common and diverse entities in the biosphere. The term is commonly used in its shortened form, phage.

Phages are widely distributed in locations populated by bacterial hosts, such as soil or the intestines of animals. One of the densest natural sources for phages and other viruses is sea water, where up to 9×108 virions per milliliter have been found in microbial mats at the surface, and up to 70% of marine bacteria may be infected by phages. They have been used for over 90 years as an alternative to antibiotics in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as well in France. They are seen as a possible therapy against multi-drug-resistant strains of many bacteria.

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