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January 24, 2020 Friday 12:12:07 PM IST

Bacteriophages to kill bacterial infections

Stories of Life

With increasing number of antibiotics not effective against bacteria, scientists believe that bacteriophages may be effective in patients when the current antimicrobial drugs fail. These bacteriophages are viruses that can specifically infect bacteria. Theywork by parasitizing bacterial cells eating them from inside out. Bacteriophages are abundant on earth and are present in the areas where their hosts are present. One of the most important structural elements of a bacteriophage is the tail fibres, which make each phage type specific to its host bacteria. According to Dr Antonia Sagona, a researcher in the School of Life Sciences at University of Warwick, phages have a small genome and with recent advances in synthetic biology, it can be modified, selecting preferred characteristics and tailoring them for different applications.

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