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Phage therapy in lung infections caused by multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa - A literature review.

Pulmonary infections of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) or in intensive care units are frequently caused by the Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Since these bacteria are commonly inherently multidrug-resistant (MDR) and hence, antibiotic treatment options are limited, bacteriophages may provide alternative therapeutic and prophylactic measures in the combat of pneumonia caused by P. aeruginosa. This prompted us to perform a comprehensive literature survey of current knowledge regarding effects of phages applied against pulmonary P. aeruginosa infections. The included 23 studies revealed that P. aeruginosa specific phages lyse and eliminate the bacteria even in case of biofilm production in vitro, whereas application to mice and men resulted in mitigated P. aeruginosa induced clinical signs and enhanced survival. Besides distinct host immune responses, no major adverse effects limiting therapeutic and/or prophylactic phage application were noted. However, the immune system and antibiotics generate synergies with phages due to the mutable sensitivity of P. aeruginosa. In conclusion, results summarized in this review provide evidence that phages constitute promising alternative treatment options for lung infections caused by MDR P. aeruginosa. Further studies are needed, however, to underscore the efficacy and safety aspects of phages application to infected patients including immune-compromised individuals.

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