Phages and their lysins: Toolkits in the battle against foodborne pathogens in the postantibiotic era

Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2021 May 3. doi: 10.1111/1541-4337.12757. Online ahead of print.


Worldwide, foods waste caused by putrefactive organisms and diseases caused by foodborne pathogens persist as public health problems even with a plethora of modern antimicrobials. Our over reliance on antimicrobials use in agriculture, medicine, and other fields will lead to a postantibiotic era where bacterial genotypic resistance, phenotypic adaptation, and other bacterial evolutionary strategies cause antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This AMR is evidenced by the emergence of multiple drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria and pan-resistant (PDR) bacteria, which produces cross-contamination in multiple fields and poses a more serious threat to food safety. A "red queen premise" surmises that the coevolution of phages and bacteria results in an evolutionary arms race that compels phages to adapt and survive bacterial antiphage strategies. Phages and their lysins are therefore useful toolkits in the design of novel antimicrobials in food protection and foodborne pathogens control, and the modality of using phages as a targeted vector against foodborne pathogens is gaining momentum based on many encouraging research outcomes. In this review, we discuss the rationale of using phages and their lysins as weapons against spoilage organisms and foodborne pathogens, and outline the targeted conquest or dodge mechanism of phages and the development of novel phage prospects. We also highlight the implementation of phages and their lysins to control foodborne pathogens in a farm-table-hospital domain in the postantibiotic era.

PMID:33938116 | DOI:10.1111/1541-4337.12757