|Three types of phages are used to prepare diluted solutions in a French hospital (ROMAIN LAFABREGUE / AFP / Getty)
How are phage products produced?
Bacteriophage, as a virus, requires a host cell to multiply; specifically, these particles will require a specific bacteria to support their multiplication. In artificial production, scientists use the same method simply by introducing a bacteriophage to the bacteria of interest in a culture media for a set period of time. This allows the phage to infect the bacteria and thus allows the virus to multiply. (For more technical information, visit the phage protocols website)
Phage production can be:
Small scale phage production
Most occur in research laboratories; for experimental purposes, a large number of phages may not be required. The majority of phage characterization and susceptibility testing occurs during small-scale phage production. Before bulking production into larger volumes, research and development for large-scale productions take place on a small scale.
Large scale phage production (Industrial-scale production)
As the name implies, the majority of what happens occurs in industries; well-established production lines produce large quantities primarily for commercial use. While small-scale production requires a small number of people, large-scale production requires a large number of people, ranging from lead scientists to technicians.
Top 8 uses/applications of bacteriophages
Bacteriophages are used for a variety of purposes.
- Used in the treatment of multidrug-resistant bacteria (as phages are better at this)
- Used in food decontamination
- Used in monitoring infection spread (Reporter bacteriophage technology)
- Used to stop/delay food spoilage
- Accustomed to decontaminating surfaces and instruments
- Used in vaccines production like the inhalable COVID-19 phage-based vaccine
- Used in producing testing kits for specific bacterial pathogens
- Used in drug delivery (e.g. Cancer drug delivery)