Table of Contents
Journal of Viruses
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 382539, 20 pages
Review Article

Bacteriophages and Their Derivatives as Biotherapeutic Agents in Disease Prevention and Treatment

1Department of Biological Sciences, Cork Institute of Technology, Bishopstown, Cork, Ireland
2Biotechnology Department, Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland
3Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, University College, Cork, Ireland
4Department of Microbiology, University College, Cork, Ireland

Received 25 October 2013; Accepted 4 December 2013; Published 26 March 2014

Academic Editor: Yves Mely

Copyright © 2014 Mohamed Elbreki 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.


The application of bacteriophages for the elimination of pathogenic bacteria has received significantly increased attention world-wide in the past decade. This is borne out by the increasing prevalence of bacteriophage-specific conferences highlighting significant and diverse advances in the exploitation of bacteriophages. While bacteriophage therapy has been associated with the Former Soviet Union historically, since the 1990s, it has been widely and enthusiastically adopted as a research topic in Western countries. This has been justified by the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance in many prominent human pathogenic bacteria. Discussion of the therapeutic aspects of bacteriophages in this review will include the uses of whole phages as antibacterials and will also describe studies on the applications of purified phage-derived peptidoglycan hydrolases, which do not have the constraint of limited bacterial host-range often observed with whole phages.