eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2020   Volume No 39 – pages 193-210

Title: Bacteriophage therapy as a treatment strategy for orthopaedic-device-related infections: where do we stand?

Authors: J Onsea, J Wagemans, JP Pirnay, M Di Luca, M Gonzalez-Moreno, R Lavigne, A Trampuz, TF Moriarty, W-J Metsemakers

Address: Department of Trauma Surgery, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

E-mail: jolien.onsea at

Abstract: Antibiotic resistance represents a key challenge of the 21st century. Since the pipeline of new antibiotics in development is limited, the introduction of alternative antimicrobial strategies is urgently required.
Bacteriophage therapy, the use of bacterial viruses to selectively kill bacterial pathogens, is re-emerging as a potential strategy to tackle difficult-to-treat and multidrug-resistant pathogens. The last decade has seen a surge in scientific investigation into bacteriophage therapy, including targeting orthopaedic-device-related infections (ODRIs) in several successful case studies. However, pharmacological data, knowledge on the interplay with the immune system and, especially in ODRIs, the optimal local application strategy and treatment outcomes remain scarce.
The present review reports the state-of-the-art in bacteriophage therapy in ODRIs and addresses the hurdles in establishing bacteriophage therapy under good clinical practice guidelines. These hurdles include a lack of data concerning bacteriophage production, processing, administration and dosing, as well as follow-up clinical monitoring reports. To overcome these challenges, an integrated clinical approach is required, supported by comprehensive legislature to enable expansive and correctly implemented clinical trials.

Key Words: Bacteriophage therapy, clinical application, orthopaedic-device-related infections, current evidence.

Publication date: May 5th 2020

Article download: Pages 193-210 (PDF file)

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