Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. Bacteriophages, or short “phages”, are among the most common and diverse entities in the biosphere. Phages are widely distributed in locations populated by bacterial hosts, such as soil or the intestines of animals.
Bacteriophages inject genetic material into the targeted bacteria and use it as a host for reproduction. So many phages are reproduced in the host that it forces the cell to explode and release the newly produced phages. Those then attack other bacteria.
Bacteriophage application is quite simple. It can be applied by irrigating, rinsing or spraying the infected area with phage solution. Bandages can also be applied.
Yes. Animals can also be treated with bacteriophages.
Phages can be found in the biosphere, especially in sources like the sea water or soil. Phages serve the bacteria control on our planet and are essential for maintaining the microbial balance.
The first use of bacteriophages was seen in 1917 by Félix d’Herelle in the Pasteur Institute in Paris. In 1936 bacteriophages were used as a standardized therapy for treating infections in the Soviet Union.
Bacteriophages cannot attack normal human or animal cells. They only attack specific bacteria. A bacteriophage can only infect a certain group of strains within the same bacterial species, without affecting strains of other bacterial species.