PHAGE LYTIC ENZYME
When phages were originally identified, the possibility of using them as antibacterial agents against pathogens was immediately recognized and put into practise based on the knowledge available at the time. However, with the advent of antibiotics a decline in the use of phage as therapeutics followed. Phages did, however, become more useful in the study of fundamental aspects of molecular biology and in the diagnostic laboratory for the identification of pathogenic bacteria. More recently, the original application of phage as therapeutics to treat human and animal infections has been rekindled, particularly in an era where antibiotic resistance has become so problematic/commonplace. Phage lysins have also been studied and utilized in their own right as potential therapeutics for the treatment of bacterial infections. Indeed the past decade has seen a considerable amount of research worldwide focused on the engineering of phages as antibacterial agents in a wide range of applications. Furthermore, the US Food and Drug Administration and/or the US Department of Agriculture have recently approved commercial phage preparations to prevent bacterial contamination of livestock, food crops, meat and other foods. Such developments have prompted this review into the status of phage research as it pertains to the control of infectious bacteria.