Background: Microbial communities encased in exopolymeric
substances (EPS) attached to suitable substrate as biofilms show heightened
resistance to multiple drugs including antibiotics. One promising control
strategy in dealing with the ever mounting problem of antibiotic resistance
amongst biofilm forming bacterial pathogens is the use of biological agents.
Objective: This review focuses on the development of bacteriophages as
means of disrupting biofilm forming pathogens and hence mitigation of
multiple drug resistant organisms.
Results: Bacteriophages are obligatory viral intracellular parasites that can
cause lytic infection of their bacterial hosts. Bacteriophage (Phage) therapy is advantageous
in being highly host specific, safe and non-toxic to humans and hence environmental friendly.
Bacteriophage induced lysis of cells within the biofilm is aided by the production of penetrating
enzymes such as endolysins and EPS depolymerases as well quorum sensing inhibitors
such as lactonases.
Conclusion: Phages are a promising alternative therapy for the control of multiple drug resistant
(MDR) pathogens. Several phage (indigenous and engineered)/ phage products are
currently being patented and developed as commercial biological control agents.