Open Access Medical Books


Edited by Ipek Kurtböke .

Therapeutic use of bacteriophages for the prevention and treatment of bacterial 
diseases has been pursued since the discovery of phages in 1917 by d'Herelle.
Following the advancement of biomedical research, phages have gained further 
importance in biomedicine and examples include the use of polysaccharide-specific 
phages to treat encapsulated pathogenic bacteria forming biofilms on medical devices.
Genetic engineering of bacteriophages to produce cell death without lysis, hence 
avoiding the release of unwanted endotoxins during control of pathogenic bacteria, 
has also been in progress. Due to increasing antibiotic resistance, phage-derived lytic 
enzymes are also being exploited to control infectious bacteria. In antibiotic resistant 
Gram-positive bacteria, even small quantities of purified recombinant lysin added 
externally have been reported to lead to immediate lysis of the pathogenic cell wall 
making them ideal anti-infectives due to lysin specificity against the pathogens.
Improved understanding of bacteriophage injectory mechanisms also contributes to 
our knowledge of bacterial secretion mechanisms, particularly the ones in Type VI 
secretion systems (T6SS), which seem to use the same mechanism as bacteriophages to 
inject their DNA into bacterial cell. Moreover, advancements in prophage genomics 
improve the understanding of phage-bacterium interaction at the genetic level 
revealing prophage gene derived-virulence factors and their contribution to fitness 
increase of the pathogenic bacteria.
Targeting host bacterial functional diversity, in which certain metabolic activities 
might be triggered in a defined ecosystem following phage-mediated gene transfer 
might also offer clues for host biosynthetic activities. As a result, an evaluation of the 
role of host-phage interactions in antibiotic production as well as in rendering 
antibiotics ineffective via lysogenation or prophage exertion will further complement 
therapeutic success.
Bacteriophages are also utilized as successful biocontrol agents in agriculture as well 
as surrogates and tracers of the fate and transport of pathogens in source water and 
drinking water treatment processes. However, they can also result in significant 
economic losses as contaminants of dairy and natto factories, therefore their detection 
with the aid of effective methods and removal of extreme importance for the industry.
Bacteriophages is therefore intended to serve as a reference book covering both 
background information as well as current advancements in the field including the use 
of molecular techniques for early detection of bacteriophage contamination in 
industrial operations.
I thank all contributing Authors who have generously given their time and expertise to 
make Bacteriophages a key collection and their timely meeting of the deadlines has been 
greatly appreciated. I also thank Hans-Wolfgang Ackermann (Canada), Stephen Abedon 
(USA), Nina Chanishvili (Georgia) and Ian Macreadie (Australia) for their invaluable 
contribution to the peer review process. Technical assistance provided by Intech 
Editorial Office during the production of the book is also gratefully acknowledged.

Ipek Kurtböke
University of the Sunshine Coast,


Part 1 Biology and Classification of Bacteriophages 1

Chapter 1 Bacteriophages and Their Structural Organisation 3
E.V. Orlova

Chapter 2 Some Reflections on the Origin
of Lambdoid Bacteriophages 31
Luis Kameyama, Eva Martínez-Peñafiel, Omar Sepúlveda-Robles,
Zaira Y. Flores-López, Leonor Fernández,
Francisco Martínez-Pérez and Rosa Ma. Bermúdez

Chapter 3 Gels for the Propagation of Bacteriophages
and the Characterization of Bacteriophage
Assembly Intermediates 39
Philip Serwer

Part 2 Bacteriophages as Contaminants and Indicator 55

Chapter 4 Bacteriophages as Surrogates
for the Fate and Transport of Pathogens in Source
Water and in Drinking Water Treatment Processes 57
Maria M.F. Mesquita and Monica B. Emelko

Chapter 5 Bacteriophages in Dairy Industry:
PCR Methods as Valuable Tools 81
Beatriz del Río, María Cruz Martín, Víctor Ladero, Noelia Martínez,
Daniel M. Linares, María Fernández and Miguel A. Alvarez

Chapter 6 Bacteriophages of Bacillus subtilis (natto)
and Their Contamination in Natto Factories 95
Toshirou Nagai

Part 3 Bacteriopgahes as Tools and Biological Control Agents 111

Chapter 7 Bacteriophages of Ralstonia solanacearum:
Their Diversity and Utilization
as Biocontrol Agents in Agriculture 113
Takashi Yamada

Chapter 8 Application of Therapeutic Phages in Medicine 139
Sanjay Chhibber and Seema Kumari

Chapter 9 Successes and Failures of Bacteriophage
Treatment of Enterobacteriaceae Infections
in the Gastrointestinal Tract of Domestic Animals 159
L.R. Bielke, G. Tellez and B.M. Hargis

Chapter 10 Phages as Therapeutic Tools to Control Major
Foodborne Pathogens: Campylobacter and Salmonella 179
Carla M. Carvalho, Sílvio B. Santos, Andrew M. Kropinski,
Eugénio C. Ferreira and Joana Azeredo

Chapter 11 Bacteriophages of Clostridium perfringens 215
Bruce S. Seal, Nikolay V. Volozhantsev, Brian B. Oakley,
Cesar A. Morales, Johnna K. Garrish, Mustafa Simmons,
Edward A. Svetoch and Gregory R. Siragusa

Chapter 12 A Phage-Guided Route to Discovery
of Bioactive Rare Actinomycetes 237
D.I. Kurtböke

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