Safety and efficacy of phage therapy in difficult-to-treat infections: a systematic review
According to the latest reports from WHO, the incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections is increasing worldwide, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality and a rising pressure on health-care systems. However, the development of new antibiotics is an expensive and time-consuming process, urging scientists to seek alternative antimicrobial strategies. Over the past few decades, the concept of therapeutic administration of bacteriophages (also known as phages) has gained popularity worldwide. Although conceptually promising, the widespread implementation of phage therapy in routine clinical practice is restricted by the scarcity of safety and efficacy data obtained according to the strict standards of the applicable clinical trial regulations. In this systematic review, we list clinical data published between Jan 1, 2000 and Aug 14, 2021 on the safety and efficacy of phage therapy for difficult-to-treat bacterial infections, and provide an overview of trials and case studies on the use of phage therapy in several medical disciplines.
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