specifically infect and destroy bacteria

What are bacteriophages?

According to the current knowledge, bacteriophages – known as phages for short – are viruses that exclusively infect bacteria and archaea. Phages are distributed ubiquitously, i.e. everywhere in nature, on plants, animals and humans. The diversity of bacteriophages is infinite, as they can permanently change and adapt to their hosts. The term “bacteriophage” comes from the Greek and literally means “bacteria eater”.

Bacteriophages infect and lyse bacteria very specifically; their binding to the respective bacterium is comparable to the lock-and-key principle.

Many of the bacterial pathogens have zoonotic potential. This means that they can be transmitted between animals and humans in both directions. For some years now, it has been observed worldwide that bacterial infections can only be combated to a limited extent, and in some cases not at all, with antibiotics. Their spread, and thus the spread of antibiotic resistance, usually occurs by the environment. This represents a “One Health Problem”, including a global threat to public health.

Bacteriophages can be an alternative and/or useful additive to antibiotics. They offer many natural advantages in contrast to antibiotics, and at the same time their action is not affected by antibiotic resistance.


Electron microscope image of a bacteriophage of the order Caudovirales, morphotype A (myoviruses) with icosahedral capsid and contracted tail section.


Electron microscope image of bacteriophages of the order Caudovirales (myoviruses) with icosahedral capsid and contractile tail part.

Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
Click to enable/disable video embeds.
Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.