Credit: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

Article Writer-   Minakshi  Kumari, MSc. Biotechnology, RCA, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur, Rajsthan(India)

Bacteriophage (or simply Phage), a virus that infects bacteria, is used for therapy against human bacterial infections. But it’s use is restricted to a few countries like the USA and only in case when there is nothing else available.

With the enormous use of antibiotics, bacteria are now becoming multi-drug resistant. And for this, phage therapy is proving significant. Phage uses lysins for killing Bacteria. So, many investigators want to use lysin directly against bacteria.

Phage lysins act by degrading bacterial cell wall which is composed of peptidoglycan. Also, different lysins are specific to different bacteria because of different components and organizations of peptidoglycans in their cell walls. For eg., the lysin for the gut pathogen Clostridium difficile will selectively kill C. difficile without injuring other Clostridium present in the microbiota.

Advantages of treating infections using lysin are:

(I) The direct and instant killing of pathogens without any adverse impact on mammalian cells or tissues.

(II) It is very stable i.e., it can be frozen and lyophilized and heat-stable up to 500C.

(III) It dissolves biofilms from the top to down while antibiotics kill only those present on the surface of the matrix.

(IV) Relatively cheap and easy to produce.

These advantages make lysin, a potential alternative to phage therapy.

Reference:

Fischetti, V.A. Development of Phage Lysins as Novel Therapeutics: A Historical Perspective. Viruses 201810, 310., https://dx.doi.org/10.3390%2Fv10060310

https://www.rockefeller.edu/our-scientists/heads-of-laboratories/1160-vincent-a-fischetti/