There is no doubt of the urgent need for developing new antibacterials. The list of bacteria resistant to virtually all drugs is increasing nearly every month and in the XXI century patients are dying in our hospitals due to the lack of treatments for infections. No surprisingly, WHO announced in 2009 that “Antibiotic resistance is one of the three greatest threats to human health”. Since the drug discovery pipeline is nearly dry, alternative antimicrobial approaches have been proposed, including the use of antimicrobial peptides, the manipulation of the host-pathogen interphase (followed in my lab with very promising results), and the use of bacteriophages.
The discovery of bacteriophages, obligate predators of bacteria, is attributed to Twort and d’Herelle in the early 20th century. The therapeutic potential of phages was recognized soon thereafter and applied for several decades before the discovery and widespread adoption of antibiotic. However, there has been a renewed interest into bacteriophage therapy due to the increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance.