The increase in multidrug-resistant infections and the failure of antibiotics to treat them effectively is a concern for both human and veterinary medicine.
In the poultry industry, this has led to an increase in bacterial resistance, including zoonotic pathogens that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
As a result, scientists have turned to a promising alternative: Bacteriophages. These viruses, which specifically target and kill bacteria, are abundant in nature and have proven effective in fighting bacterial infections.
While more research is needed to fully understand their potential as a treatment option, bacteriophages offer hope for combating antibiotic resistance and preventing the spread of dangerous diseases. Ultimately, they could prove to be a valuable tool in the fight against bacterial infections.
Authors Katarzyna Żbikowska, Monika Michalczuk and Beata Dolka published their review, entitled The Use of Bacteriophages in the Poultry Industry on 18 May 2020.
Key takeaways include:
- Poultry production has had to deal with the problem of an alarming increase in bacterial resistance, including zoonotic pathogens.
- According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis are the most frequently reported foodborne diseases associated with poultry.
- This situation has sparked renewed interest in bacteriophages (phages) among scientists since the beginning of the 21st century.
- Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria and are abundant in nature. They accompany bacteria in any environment they colonize, including the human microbiota.
- In this review, we focus on the use of bacteriophages as therapeutic agents to treat infections and reduce the number of pathogenic bacteria in poultry, as biocontrol agents to eliminate pathogens in food, and as disinfectants to reduce contamination of food contact surfaces or poultry carcasses under industrial conditions.
- Most phage-based products target the major foodborne pathogens such as Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella spp, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Cl
The emergence of multidrug-resistant infections and antibiotic failures have raised concerns over human and veterinary medicine worldwide.
Poultry production has had to confront the problems of an alarming increase in bacterial resistance, including zoonotic pathogens.
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis have been the most frequently reported human foodborne diseases linked to poultry. This situation has strongly stimulated a renewal of scientists’ interest in bacteriophages (phages) since the beginning of the 21st century.
Bacteriophages are the viruses of bacteria. They are abundant in nature, and accompany bacteria in each environment they colonize, including human microbiota.
In this review, we focused on the use of bacteriophages as therapeutic agents to treat infections and reduce counts of pathogenic bacteria in poultry, as biocontrol agents to eliminate foodborne pathogens on/in food, and also as disinfectants to reduce contamination on food-contact surfaces or poultry carcasses in industrial conditions.
Most of the phage-based products are targeted against the main foodborne pathogens, such as Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium perfringens.
Phages are currently addressed at all stages of the poultry production “from farm to fork”, however, their implementation into live birds and food products still provokes discussions especially in the context of the current legal framework, limitations, as well as public health and safety.
Keywords: bacteriophages; disinfection; food safety; foodborne diseases; multidrug-resistant bacteria; phage therapy; poultry.
Copyright: the authors.