The Use of Bacteriophages in the Poultry Industry

Author: Żbikowska, K.; Michalczuk, M. & Dolka, B.

Description: The emergence of multidrug-resistant infections and antibiotic failures have raised concerns over human and veterinary medicine worldwide. Poultry production has had to confront the problems of an alarming increase in bacterial resistance, including zoonotic pathogens. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis have been the most frequently reported human foodborne diseases linked to poultry. This situation has strongly stimulated a renewal of scientists’ interest in bacteriophages (phages) since the beginning of the 21st century. Bacteriophages are the viruses of bacteria. They are abundant in nature, and accompany bacteria in each environment they colonize, including human microbiota. In this review, we focused on the use of bacteriophages as therapeutic agents to treat infections and reduce counts of pathogenic bacteria in poultry, as biocontrol agents to eliminate foodborne pathogens on/in food, and also as disinfectants to reduce contamination on food-contact surfaces or poultry carcasses in industrial conditions. Most of the phage-based products are targeted against the main foodborne pathogens, such as Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium perfringens. Phages are currently addressed at all stages of the poultry production “from farm to fork”, however, their implementation into live birds and food products still provokes discussions especially in the context of the current legal framework, limitations, as well as public health and safety.

Subject headings: Bacteriophages; Disinfection; Food safety; Foodborne diseases; Multidrug-resistant bacteria; Phage therapy; Poultry; Microbiome

Publication year: 2020

Journal or book title: Animals

Volume: 10

Issue: 5

Pages: 872

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Type: Journal article

Serial number: 3087

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