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Bacteriophages

Gray six-legged bacteriophage flanked by two purple, floating rods.

Bacteriophages as a weapon against superbugs

Bacteriophages are viruses that target, infect, and destroy specific bacteria without harming human and animal cells. For this reason, they provide formidable weapons for preventing and treating bacterial infections. 

Since the discovery of bacteriophages in the early 1900s, researchers have explored the various applications of these viruses. In the food industry, for example, bacteriophages have been evaluated as a natural method of targeting and eliminating pathogenic bacteria on food. Because foodborne pathogens result in high rates of morbidity and mortality in humans as well as extensive economic losses, controlling their spread is essential. With bacteriophage biocontrol, bacteriophages can be used in the sanitation of equipment and surfaces, applied on raw meat or produce, or used as preservatives to extend product shelf life. By harnessing the bactericidal nature of these viruses, food manufacturers can help prevent foodborne outbreaks.

In recent years, multidrug resistance among bacterial pathogens has emerged as a global health threat. This public health issue has reignited extensive research on bacteriophage therapy, which is a treatment that involves the topical or intravenous application of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections in humans. While this treatment has proven promising, research is still required to evaluate the safety and efficacy of using bacteriophages to treat infection. 

To support the incredible research on these viruses, ATCC offers an extensive collection of authenticated bacteriophages and host strains. Explore our resources below to find products relevant to your research.

Bacteriophage Resources

Six luminescent blue spider-like legs of a bacteriophage on a beige surface.

Bacteriophage therapy – An alternative approach for treating multidrug-resistant infections

With the continual spread of antimicrobial resistance across the globe, it is now time to think outside of the box when it comes to the prevention and treatment of disease. One attractive mechanism under evaluation is bacteriophage therapy. Download our white paper to discover more about this innovative field of research and to explore how you can get involved.

Explore Bacteriophage Therapy
Blue rod-shaped and yellow spherical bacteria and viruses.

The rise of multidrug-resistant strains and need for new therapeutic approaches

As the number of antibiotics effective against multidrug-resistant strains is beginning to dwindle, there have been a variety of efforts made to evaluate novel therapeutic options. From fusogenic liposomes and antimicrobial peptides to bacteriophages—explore some of the innovative approaches being explored in the fight against superbugs.

Download the Whitepaper
Gloved hand holding petri dish containing green agar and bacteria cultures.

Tips and techniques for culturing bacteriophages and their bacterial hosts

The propagation of bacteriophages and their bacterial hosts can vary significantly between species and can be quite challenging for isolates that have complex requirements for nutrient acquisition and respiration. That’s why we have prepared a comprehensive manual with all of our tips and tricks for growing and preserving a wide variety of genera.

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Bacteriophages

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