Bacteriophage (phage) are bacterial viruses and are considered to be the most widely distributed and diverse natural biological entities. Soon after their discovery, bacteriophage were found to have antimicrobial properties that were exploited in many early anti-infection trials. However, the subsequent discovery of antibiotics led to a decline in the popularity of bacteriophage in much of the Western world, although work continued in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. As a result of the emergence of antibiotic resistance in a number of bacterial pathogens, focus has been redirected back to bacteriophage and bacteriophage lysins as a means of pathogen control. Although bacteriophage have certain limitations, significant progress has been made toward their applications in food and has resulted in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving the use of a bacteriophage-based additive for the control of contamination. Furthermore, a number of animal studies have revealed the potential of bacteriophage for the control of various foodborne pathogens within the animal gastrointestinal tract and to subsequently decrease the likelihood of foodborne outbreaks. From a biopreservative perspective, phage have a number of key properties, including relative stability during storage, an ability to self-replicate, and a nontoxic nature. The purpose of this review is to highlight the recent developments in the use of phages and their lysins for biocontrol and to address their potential future applications.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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