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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

This paper seeks to review how previous research on bacteriophage therapy can be utilized to improve the treatment of MRSA infections. Due to the growing phenomenon of antibiotic resistance, scientists are looking to utilize the natural antibacterial qualities of bacterial viruses called phages to fight MRSA infections. In order to improve the therapeutic methods of combatting MRSA, one must first understand the mechanics of how phages infect bacterial cells and lyse them with their proteins. The narrow host range of bacteriophages causes the infection of only the pathogenic bacteria and maintains the state of the normal flora. Research suggests that the combination of antibiotics and bacteriophage therapy is a more effective means of combatting MRSA than the utilization of each individual treatment on its own. The next step in developing this treatment option is isolating and classifying each specific bacteriophage and determining its host range. Matching the phages and their corresponding bacteria may seem like a daunting process; however, researchers discovered that phages are naturally located near the bacterial strain that they infect. An additional aspect of the ongoing research is the determination of what causes some phages to be more effective than others. Scientists note that not only does the phage have an inherent strength which is derived from its genetic makeup but, its strength in combating infections is also affected by the host’s immunity. New findings lead researchers to believe that there may be a more direct method of treating MRSA infections. Although the phage in its entirety can be used to lyse bacterial cells, scientist have isolated a protein found within the phages that can lyse bacterial cells. Scientists hope to harness its power for a more sinuous treatment of infections.

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