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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2012, Article ID 247427, 13 pages
Review Article

Immunocompatibility of Bacteriophages as Nanomedicines

School of Pharmacy, University of Waterloo, Health Sciences Campus, 10 Victoria Street South, Kitchener, ON, Canada N2L 3C4

Received 23 July 2011; Revised 15 January 2012; Accepted 24 January 2012

Academic Editor: Chunying Chen

Copyright © 2012 Tranum Kaur et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bacteriophage-based medical research provides the opportunity to develop targeted nanomedicines with heightened efficiency and safety profiles. Filamentous phages also can and have been formulated as targeted drug-delivery nanomedicines, and phage may also serve as promising alternatives/complements to antibiotics. Over the past decade the use of phage for both the prophylaxis and the treatment of bacterial infection, has gained special significance in view of a dramatic rise in the prevalence of antibiotic resistance bacterial strains. Two potential medical applications of phages are the treatment of bacterial infections and their use as immunizing agents in diagnosis and monitoring patients with immunodeficiencies. Recently, phages have been employed as gene-delivery vectors (phage nanomedicine), for nearly half a century as tools in genetic research, for about two decades as tools for the discovery of specific target-binding proteins and peptides, and for almost a decade as tools for vaccine development. As phage applications to human therapeutic development grow at an exponential rate, it will become essential to evaluate host immune responses to initial and repetitive challenges by therapeutic phage in order to develop phage therapies that offer suitable utility. This paper examines and discusses phage nanomedicine applications and the immunomodulatory effects of bacteriophage exposure and treatment modalities.