About this Research Topic
Although vaccines, antibiotics, and other medicines have dramatically reduced infectious diseases that caused by pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites; humanity still suffers for the consequences of emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, 2009 swine flu, and Middle East respiratory syndrome in addition to many known pathogens. The race between humans and pathogens demands continuous efforts to limit infections and their associated morbidity and mortality.
Since their discovery in the early 20th century by Frederick Twort and Felix d’Herelle, bacteriophages (phages) have been used to combat bacterial infections. However, their clinical use was largely reduced following the discovery of antibiotics, which demonstrate greater breath of application breadth. The emergence and rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria has forced researchers to rethink phage-based therapies as an alternative solution to tackle infectious diseases. Significant progress has been made over the last two decades, and a number of phase I/II clinical trials have been launched and completed.
In addition to their use in antibacterial therapy, phages are also used as nanoparticle vectors for vaccine development, particularly the virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine. The unique characteristics of phage particles, including size, geometry, highly ordered and repeated structure, which are critical for eliciting immune responses, make them ideal vaccine vectors. Antigens assembled on phage particles are delivered as VLPs, which mimic features of viral pathogen and efficiently stimulate immune responses against the delivered antigens. Other than phage therapy and vaccine design, phages have many other applications, including pathogen detection, antigen identification, and DNA delivery.
Although the tremendous advances and the incredible potential, the application of phages in infectious diseases is still in its infancy. Further research and investment are required to help mature phage technologies and establish phage therapy as a viable option to tackle infectious diseases. This Research Topic aims to publish Original Research and Review articles focusing on the application of phages in the fight against infectious diseases, with special interest in phage therapy, phage-based vaccine design, phage-based pathogen detection, phage engineering, and the interaction of phages with mammalian cells in the context of infectious diseases.
Keywords: Infectious disease, Bacteriophage, Phage therapy, Vaccine, phage nanoparticle
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