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Global concerns exist that livestock receiving antibiotics as growth promotants and clinically can excrete residues leading to an increased incidence of antimicrobial resistance. The presence of antibiotic resistance genes and the diversity of the fecal microbiome are specie dependent, vary by geographical location and are influenced by management practices (Rothrock et al., 2021). As an alternative to chemical antibiotics, bacteriophages (phages) have gained renewed interest (Kortright et al., 2019). Phages are viruses capable of infecting bacteria, replicating within the host and causing host lysis. Targeting species of bacteria with phage can serve as a bactericide and decrease the likelihood of developing multidrug resistance. A recent meta analysis explored the pros and cons of phage therapy in swine providing new insight into their application as antibiotic alternatives (Desiree et al., 2021).

Efficacy of phage therapy in pigs

Credit: Journal of Animal Science, Volume 99, Issue 7, July 2021, skab187, doi.org/10.1093/jas/skab187

Digital Credit:

Publisher: American Society of Animal Science

Rights: Name must appear as a credit whenever the image is used - Journal of Animal Science, Volume 99, Issue 7, July 2021, skab187, https://doi.org/10.1093/jas/skab187

Description: Global concerns exist that livestock receiving antibiotics as growth promotants and clinically can excrete residues leading to an increased incidence of antimicrobial resistance. The presence of antibiotic resistance genes and the diversity of the fecal microbiome are specie dependent, vary by geographical location and are influenced by management practices (Rothrock et al., 2021). As an alternative to chemical antibiotics, bacteriophages (phages) have gained renewed interest (Kortright et al., 2019). Phages are viruses capable of infecting bacteria, replicating within the host and causing host lysis. Targeting species of bacteria with phage can serve as a bactericide and decrease the likelihood of developing multidrug resistance. A recent meta analysis explored the pros and cons of phage therapy in swine providing new insight into their application as antibiotic alternatives (Desiree et al., 2021).

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