In 2016 the WHO estimated up to 700,000 patients died of multidrug resistant bacterial infections globally. This rise of multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria is mainly driven by the excessive use of antibiotics in meat production. Some estimates claim 80% of antibiotics produced globally are used on poultry and pigs. Several publications have recently reported spectacular successes in the fight against MDR bacterial infections in humans but also livestock.
Bacteriophages stick to bacteria with their leg-like fibres, which triggers a change in the protein conformation ramming their shaft into the bacterial hull. The interior of the shaft contains a needle, which punctures the bacterial envelope enabling the phage to inject its genetic material. The phage genome within minutes overcomes the bacterial defences, bacteriophage components are assembled within the cell before it ruptures to release a new wave of phages.
This article earlier appeared in the “biolution” YouTube channel
References are available bellow.