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Bacteriophages better known as phages

MRSA kills about 18,000 people annually, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America. 

 April 2011
Most people have no idea what the global village concept really means...quite simply stated if you can see it (even by video only) you can feel it and it can kill you.

.World wide everyone is sharing the same bacteria now. Everything is just about everywhere. Everyone should be sharing not selling the data needed to counteract the increasingly different types of bacterial infections one can encounter now a days.

.What use to take centuries can now be done in weeks and that includes the spread of bacteria and viruses and everything else that travels by enhanced mobile means (planes, ships, trains, trucks, automobiles, bikes, scooters, etc.). Bacteria, viruses, molds, fungi, etc. do not observe international border lines, large bodies of water, steel bars, electric fences, hastily written laws by senators and representatives of all kinds. 

.So called exotic diseases are exotic in name only. Just because the disease has an exotic name only means it originated in a far off place. But it will not stay in that exotic place forever and in fact the delivery time is down to weeks or less once an outbreak makes an appearance.

Everything is being redistributed during this period of global change, including the bacteria, viruses, insects, plants, animals, etc.

Because this is an international problem the solution has to be cheap and practical, nothing else will work and the stakes have never been higher.

Ten states require hospitals to screen all ICU patients for the antibiotic-resistant superbug. New research, however, shows that approach may not work.

Around 30 percent of the population carries some form of S. aureus and approximately 2.5 percent of the general population carries MRSA.

. MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.S. aureus and mrsa cause staph infections.

. This percentage climbs when you are in areas where there is a higher concentration of people who are ill, elderly, or experiencing compromised health for any sort of reason.

These "carriers" are not infected, they are only carrying the mrsa on their skin, nose or in their saliva. 

.A person is no longer considered a carrier if they come up with negative tests over a ten month period. A percentage of the population can naturally fight off the mrsa and staph infections.

The simplest way to avoid a staph infection is to wash your hands often. If you get a cut or scratch clean it promptly, apply a bandaid or other covering if required to keep it clean. Only a small percentage of mersa infections result in serious illness, most can be easily treated.

For healthy individuals a simple skin infection in some cases does not require antibiotics, this would be determined by a doctor.

MRSA is becoming more wide spread, it is not only in hospitals and nursing homes but also in farms, gyms, even on the packaging in grocery stores.

MRSA is just one of hundreds of familys of antibiotic resistant bacteria, most of which we have no idea what they are or where they are found.

Some bacteria are resistant to antibiotics we have not even begun to use yet. The best defense is to wash your hands with soap and water. Unfortunately  even that simple procedure is not available to many people. One third of the worlds population is working in the underground economy where there is very little official infrastructure to provide the basic needs of sanitation and fresh clean water.

 MRSA is a family of bacterium that's resistant to treatment with commonly used antibiotics. The antibiotic resistance is mostly initially obtained by horizontal gene transfer.

MRSA Noticed in UK in the 1960s
MRSA Noticed in the 1970's, Hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA).
MRSA Noticed in 1980's outside of hospital settings in the US. 
MRSA Noticed in the 1990's, Community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA)
MRSA Noticed in the US  in 2010, MRSA found in large bodies of water and on the beaches. 
MRSA Noticed in the US in 2011 now found on some of the meat and poultry supply itself after packaging.
MRSA and VRE in 2011 Noticed in bedbugs in downtown Eastside Vancouver, British Columbia.

Bedbugs have unknown transmission capabilities but do appear to be able to act as a reservoir for MRSA and VRE.2011 E. Coli  EHEC-0104 outbreak, 14 countries, June 11 WHO reported 2443 cases of EHEC and 812 cases of HUS (hemolytic-uremic syndrome).  It is an antibiotic resistant strain. The usual percentage of cases that develop HUS is 10 percent, in this outbreak it was 25 percent. Update: June 28 2011, 4000 infected, 43 have died. Compare to outbreak in Japan for May 1996 through August 1996, in which approximately 10,000 cases of Escherichia coli O157:H7 were reported. At least 14 separate clusters were reported.July 2011,

There are reported cases of people carrying Escherichia coli O104:H4 without being ill. This unknown population of carriers could lower the percentage of HUS patients toward a more normal value. There are no real programs looking for potentially harmful microbes that are not currently harming people. It is possible that if a more proactive approach was carried out for tracking infectious agents it would be less of a surprise when something happens. Only an international effort would yield appreciable results for this type of operation. This strain or close relative of it is reported to have possibly been around for 10 years, upgrading its genetic structure along the way.

Originally reported as residing in cattle because the cattle are not effected by the shiga toxin, it is now apparently thought that the current source of the outbreak could be human.  There was a similar strain in 2001 with some interesting changes along the way. Even if it is not the source the modifications that the May 2011 strain made could be disturbing. It reacted to treatment by antibiotics as an attack and thus released even more toxins.

Another possible change is the replacement of a toxin producing gene with a gene that destroys a wide range of antibiotics. These upgrades are the result of chance horizontal gene transfers. The shiga toxin probably came from a chance lamda phage encounter. It might seem that it is just by chance it acquired the ability to attack the source of the antibiotic with toxins and destroy antibiotics at the same time but more likely there is so much of that type of horizontal gene transferring going on that chance became a simple matter of time with a predictable conclusion. It is possible that by flooding the surrounding environment with abnormal chemical concentrations the resident microbial populations will react in a predictable manner instead of a random manner.

Irritating microbes with chemical energy triggers responses that can result in successful genetic modifications that will insure their survival.Tracking with closeups..

.Similarity of Shiga Toxin–producing Escherichia coli O104:H4 Strains from Italy in 2009 and Germany in 2011
2011 July 11,
 A "superbug" strain of gonorrhea in Japan that is resistant to all recommended antibiotics and could transform a once easily treatable infection into a global public health threat.

2011 November, General acceptance of bacteriotherapy or stool infusion therapy, the process of transplanting fecal material from a healthy person to the large intestine of an ill person with Clostridium difficile, or other uncontrollable diarrhea producing illnesses is being held up by FDA submission rules because an exact listing of the active ingredients is not possible. Each time a sample is made it is different. People are claiming it is the bacterial content or the probiotic content that makes the cure possible. The reproducible cure rate is 80 or 90 percent or even higher. One would suspect that the bacteria invloved in the transplant also have phages present and there could also be phages present for bacterial not present. There is no mention of phages playing any part in the recovery.

Antibiotic Resistance: New Approaches to a Historical Problem, Sean S. Kardar..."In fact, no class of drugs with a novel mode of action has been developed since the introduction of nalidixic acid in 1962.

Alternative methods to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria are needed and scientists have begun to search for antimicrobial drugs in vertebrates, invertebrates, and even bacteria and fungi in Earth’s most extreme environments..

.There has been an urgent need for new avenues of therapeutic treatment, and a new era of prophalytic (preventative) treatment has begun."bacterial interferencebacteriophage therapybacterial vaccinescationic peptidescyclic D,L-a-peptidesSuperbug -- a bacteria that has mutated and become resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics. This is only one type of defense that bacteria employ.

Another defense is to secrete chemicals that can be toxic to other life forms, including other bacteria.

 .There are many activities that all bacteria can pick up and adapt from their neighbors. Some of the activities are beneficial for human beings, some of the activities are neutral to humans and some are not beneficial to human activities.

 .While the genes for enabling these activities are geologically isolated, these genes can found in widely different locations at the same time so you don't have to wait for a newly enhanced variety to physically travel to your location to feel the effects of it.

.There is a race between the ability of the bacteria to hitch hike versus the local species finding the required genes. The question is what other activities are being added to bacteria that previously were unable to secrete toxins, become antibiotic resistant, able to survive better in the host, such as the ability to clump together and adhere to surfaces better.

.These are defense activities, so the question is why are the bacteria ramping up their defensive mechanisms. This might only be for the bacteria to continue to be able to compete to acquire food and nutrients. It is clear that many of these activities are fueled by human activity. The question is, do the majority of bacteria always have to be beneficial to human existence. Can the balance shift to where the bacteria that are beneficial to human activities become the minority.Feb 11, 2011 Study: Doctors' short sleeves equal long sleeves for collecting bacteria - no simple fixesFood Politics,  
FDA Urged to Act on Vital Class of Antibiotics, by Helena Bottemiller, Jul 22, 2011. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Thursday to ban the extra-label use of certain antibiotics in food animal production that are of critical importance in human medicine. The act would ban extra-label use of cephalosporin, a class of antibiotics that make up less than 1 percent of antibiotic use in animal agriculture.

Approximately 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are fed to animals.

Examples of community-acquired strains of MRSA are:ST8:USA500, ST8:USA300, ST59:USA1000, ST1:USA400.
Golden Staph, UKEMRSA15, UkEMRSA16, UK  which is the same as ST36:USA200 US, same as MRSA252 which is the international name.ST93 strains, Australia  ST80 strains, continental Europe ST59 strains, Taiwan USA300 found in the US and Canada. 

MRSA is resistant to: penicillins (methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, oxacillin, etc.

EMRSA15 and EMRSA16 strains are resistant to erythromycin and ciprofloxacin.Infections can develop deep-tissue infections from minor scrapes and cuts, as well as many cases of fatal pneumonia.
More common in the tropicsNecrotizing fasciitis or pyomyositis (most commonly found in the tropics), necrotizing pneumonia, infective endocarditis (which affects the valves of the heart), or bone or joint infections.
Some strains carry:SCCmec type IV, Panton-Valentine leukocidin, PSM-alpha and enterotoxins Q and K.SCCmec type II, enterotoxin A and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 genes.New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase 1 (ND M-1).Resistant inducing genes can be transferred by Plasmids, which can carry a dozen or more antibiotic resistance genes.

Introduction of the ND M-1 gene can enable "super bug" traits in many types of bacteria. This enables resistance to the carbapenems group of antibiotics.

Partial List of antibiotic bacteria or common names
Streptococcus pneumoniae - is responsible for pneumonia, bacteremia, otitis media, meningitis, sinusitis, peritonitis and arthritis.
Streptococcus pyogenes - necrotizing fasciitisEnterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium known as VRE) - any infection that is a result of treatment in a hospital or a healthcare service unit.

Pseudomonas aeruginosaClostridium difficile -

The bacteria generates spores that are very difficult to eliminate. Once the infection spreads, it produces toxins that attack the lining of the intestine. Symptoms include diarrhea to inflammation of the colon

Acinetobacter baumannii - is a growing cause of hospital-acquired pneumonia 
Proteus vulgaris - a species of bacteria that is a frequent cause of urinary tract infectionsKlebsiella Pneumonia - often associated with extremely difficult to treat blood stream infections, surgical site infections and meningitis Staphylococcus aureus - MRSATuberculosis - XDR TB, (Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis)Salmonella - various kindsE. coli - various kindsMalaria - various kindsGonorrhea - very limited, 1 strain isolated in Japan July 2011Extended Spectrum Beta Lactamase (ESBL)

 It is possible for any of the resultant bacteria infections to result in the apparent ageing of the body (food poisoning resulting in kidney disease, etc.). As people develop methods of living longer, it would appear that the bacteria and viruses can reverse that longevity in one simple exposure, such as a simple case of food poisoning or exposure to STDs.

Besides growing as free floating bacteria cells, bacteria can also grow in a form or structure that physically stops drugs from reaching it.

Clumping, ability to attach a clump or filament to a stationary surface, bio-films, bacterial mats. This growth behavior can be passed along from external sources using horizontal gene transfer or other transfer methods.

By growing in a three dimensional shape, the bacteria on the inside of the structure can be protected from exposure to drugs and UV light.

The problem of finding MRSA on items such as food and sports equipment is not that MRSA is there, because it can be killed quite easily. The true problem is that these are simply launch points from where it can travel to any location on any product to pass on the genetic information for creating "super bugs" to receptive bacteria.

So while the food is perfectly safe so long as it is cooked thoroughly (what about products you don't cook thoroughly?), the next step in the chain can result in "superbug" bacteria appearing in places where it can't be cooked.

Exposure to the antibiotic selects for strains of the organism that have become resistant through these natural processes. Misuse of antibiotics, such as prescribing them for nonbacterial infections (colds, influenza, most upper respiratory infections, etc.) or prescribing the "newest" antibiotic on the market when older brands may still be as effective simply increases the rate at which this natural selection for resistance occurs.

.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as one-third (50 million out of 150 million) of antibiotic prescriptions given on an outpatient basis are unneeded. Patient noncompliance with antimicrobial therapy, namely, not taking the prescribed amount of the antibiotic at the proper intervals for the appropriate length of time, also plays a role in selecting for resistant strains of bacteria. 

​What is not mentioned in most medical articles talking about human misuse of antibiotics is that in the animal farming industry the amount of antibiotics used is roughly TWO to FOUR TIMES the amount used to treat human beings. The farms animals distribute the antibiotics as well as other drugs they take directly into the ground on a massive scale worldwide. There is no control over what organisms are exposed to in the secondary level of exposure in the dirt.

​Ask your Congressional Representatives why they don't support bacteriophage therapy research. Don't be surprise if you get a useless form letter back, just try again and point out why research for genetically based or self induced diseases has nothing to do with infectious diseases where you have absolutely no control over whether you get it or not. It's not your fault and you shouldn't have to pay the same way you pay do for non infectious diseases. 

.The phage lytic enzyme that phages use to break out of bacteria cell walls is being successfully used by ContraFect and other groups to treat bacteria that are becoming antibiotic resistant. Because this is a lifeless substance it could become the replacement for antibiotic pills. The live form of phage therapy is successfully used in Russia and other countries but because it is a live product and can not be strictly controlled phage therapy in western countries has been slow to be accepted.

 .There has to be international co-operation involving all levels of society. Just because some people have legitimate public healthcare does no good if not all people have legitimate healthcare.

 .There are now 7 billion potential carriers on this planet..People have to increase the efficiency of their response to health threatening situations long before they become international in scope. The pay for healthcare model is like the Margot line of defense employed during world war II. It only works only under a set of parameters which do not even include a barn door.  

 .There should be two separate policies for health insurance, one for infectious and one for non infectious. Illness caused by viruses, bacteria and substances you do not knowingly put into your body represent a threat to the economy and the security of the country, it is not practical nor wise to leave it up to the individuals to take on this responsibility. If the government wants to survive in the long run it must provide full coverage for care as needed for infectious conditions with no questions asked.

Just like bacteria, bacteriophages are found everywhere, they are extremely common. In water the probable ratio of bacteriophages or phages to bacteria is 10 to 1.

Alexander Sulakvelidze's Bacteriophage Journal is the first international, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to all aspects of bacteriophage research, ranging from basic phage biology and taxonomy to advanced bacteriophage-host cell interactions and various practical applications of bacteriophages. Division M: Bacteriophage, American Society for Microbiology 2005

Astonishingly, in coastal sea water there are typically as many as 10 7 (ten million) tailed phages per milliliter. In some fresh water sources there are up to 10 9 (a billion) per milliliter. Although there is still little information about how uniform is the distribution of phages around the globe, these numbers give at least a rough basis for calculating the global population. The remarkable result of such a calculation is that there may be as many as 10 30 tailed phage globally..One can find any number of bacteriophages by just getting a bucket of water drawn from an ocean, river, lake, just about any body of water will have a huge sampling. You will find phages that do not correspond to the local bacteria..The phages are distributed by mechanical means, they don't have a means of self propulsion. The wind, water currents, floods, move them around quite well. They are also transported by being inside  bacteria that is moving on its own or being moved by external forces, such as shipping routes.'One will find phages without corresponding bacteria it preys on, as well as bacteria with their almost always present phages. The idea that everything is everywhere works quite well the in the microbe world. If you don't see a particular organism, just take a short walk and you will probably find something close.'The phages are sculpturing the bacterial world physically and genetically. By destroying half the bacterial population every 2 days it keeps the bacteria population on it's proverbial toes. If the phages destroyed less bacteria the Earth would be be covered by a very very thick layer of slime. If the phages destroyed too much bacteria every week we would have less oxygen to breath, less nitrogen for plants to grow, etc. Bacteria consistently process materials, convert  them into other materials when the raw materials and energy is available. The phages control this biological program by destroying excess bacteria insuring that there is always room for newly created members and that there is plenty of nutrients available for the system to consume. All this done on a random basis. It works very similar to the massive worldwide farming of livestock from birth to death for consumption, with massive daily kills making room for new live stock and creating energy for the human live stock cycle to continue running.The phage populations in dry land are almost undocumented when compared to water population studies. Only when some one stops to specifically look for a particular phage or bacteria on dry land is anything documented. On dry land people look for what they are specifically looking for as part of a well defined research project.

To analyze dirt for every type of bacteria and phage is out of the question for todays technology and understanding of what sort of conditions are needed by land based micro organisms.

For water studies the shotgun approach is used where the contents of a bucket of water are reduced to individual genetic components which are then compared against a data base of known micro organisms to see what is known and what is new. 

.Phages have been found in the deserts as well as simple top soil fields. In the water, everything gets mixed together fairly fast. On dry land it takes a long time for bacteria to make it from one end of a field to another. The same is true for the phages. Both bacteria and phages are in the dirt, they are just much harder to identify and even less people looking for them. The choice is simple, spend a few minutes dipping a bucket in the ocean or spending years analyzing the dirt in a large field, starting with the plant life on the surface and working your way down through who knows how layers of dirt and rocks. Not to mention what is blowing in the wind..Besides using the wind, air and water currents, geological and climatic events to move around, phages can also ride in bacteria and move around by letting the host bacteria take them for a ride. It is anybodys guess how far a cloud of bacteria in the ocean can be carried with the phage population attached to it.

.It constantly clears out old bacterial models making room for new models. .Because of the sheer volume of phages interacting with half the worlds bacteria every couple of days the random transfers caused by genetic reproduction mistakes is hard to gauge. 

.The phage population is a huge reservoir and must not be misjudged by the content of the genes the world wide phage reservoir is holding.  After 4 billion years of slicing and dicing phages are holding everything.

.With or without phages bacteria are getting gene based antibiotic immunity from horizontal transfers involving interactions between countless types of bacteria and bacteria that is producing antibiotics we have not made use of yet. There are probably genetic processes that are currently unknown and not being used for which the bacteria are already acquiring the genes to defend against processes we are not even using yet. 

.Antibiotic resistance is only one feature for the successful existence of bacteria. There are many other features, being horizontally transferred that bacteria can acquire from other bacteria.

Able to exist in air instead of just liquid environments, to become airborne.

Able to extend the ph ranges they can survive in.

Acquire tougher physical construction of the cell wall.

Acquire resistance to many other substances besides antibiotics.

Co-operate with other organisms and micro organisms.

Be able to use former antibacterial agents and chemical substance irritants in their process of transforming energy.

Change to a close knit colony like structure to improve overall success, such as films or blobs that protect the inner colony members from external attacks or prevent easy dis-lodgement.

Acquire UV resistance.Acquire radiation resistance by changing internal structure so damage is limited.

Generate toxins or other substances that ward off potential attacks or use of common resources.

. People have brought the practice of using antibiotics to fight bacteria into the arena and now that process is being used by bacteria both as a weapon and a defense. The bacteria will be far more efficient in applying these methods than people ever where able to. 

.The phage process of killing the bacteria is not without mistakes and sometimes results in bacteria gaining new genes by horizontal transfer instead of being destroyed. The pahages can reside in the bacteria for a period of time allowing the bacteria to reproduce with the phage material in it. With the phage material inside the bacteria it will not be destroyed by more phages attacking it. When the infected bacteria weaken or are exposed to ultraviolet light the bacteriophage inside the bacteria will break out of the cell membrane, killing the bacteria.

​ .The ultraviolet trigger could be left over from ancient times when the UV was stronger and the bacteria grew in massive three dimensional clumps. Mats, even fields of bacteria, where the bacteria on the outside surfaces of the colony shielded the bacteria on the inside from the UV light. As the phage infected bacteria moved outward from protected areas of the colony and the phage found itself exposed to the UV light it would have to leave the host bacteria and find new bacteria hosts.

The bacteriophages are one of the most abundant genetic entities on Earth. The phages are terraforming the planet. Every couple of days the phages destroy approximately 50 percent of the Earth's bacterial population. The destruction of the bacteria releases nutrients stored in the body of the bacteria which are consumed by other bacteria and other lifeforms. Phages are not self propelling, they need to physically come into contact with the bacteria to infect them. The phage injects its genetic material into the host cell.There are living carbon clouds roaming about the planet, in the air, water and the land. The material taken in by the bacteria is forcibly harvested by the phages for other organisms to use. This does not appear to be a process that can be controlled on a global scale to accomplish specific goals.

For example phages do not appear able to prevent bacteria blooms. It seems like the phages are managing the overall nutrient releases without eliminating individual bacterial populations. Bacteriophages seem like parasites of bacteria hosts, but actually the phages play a big part in managing bacterial growth besides being vast reservoirs of genetic material that the bacteria have random access to. The phages allow bacteria diversity and create food sources for all bacteria by the bacteria that is lysed everyday. The phages are managing the universal herd of earthly bacteria for the survival of both phages and bacteria. It is a form of forced self sacrifice.

The phages attack bacteria in two different ways.The phages can also cause genetic change in the target bacteria.  In one method the pahges attack the bacteria and destroy it in short order by bursting the bacteria cell open so the newly produced phages can go on to the destroy more bacteria.  In the second method the phage genetic material becomes part of the bacteria cell and allows the bacteria cell to continue to live and reproduce more bacteria with the phage genes in it. While the bacteria cell is carrying the phage gene it can not be attacked by the same phage. When the health of the bacteria cell starts to degrade or when exposed to UV light, the phage destroy the bacteria cell and are released to attack more bacteria. 

 The phages can cause genetic change by accidentally including some of the host bacteria in the newly created phages which is then passed on to new bacteria hosts. It is commonly believed that bacteria originated before bacteriophages because hosts originate before parasites because the host can survive and reproduce without the parasite but the parasite can not reproduce without the host. If the parasite host model is dropped as being too simplistic, and different roles were assigned to the phage and the bacteria, the phages and bacteria could have both started at the same time by both being part of the same system that made each other possible. The death of one bacteria allows the phages to reproduce and at the same time allows other bacteria to have the resources to reproduce. Both the bacteria and the phage have to survive to see another day. Both the phage and the bacteria have to evolve and at the same time take care of each other. The phage needs the bacteria to reproduce and the bacteria need the phage to control activity in the entire bacteria world so the bacteria world does not break down. The phage could also be just a subset in the existence of the bacteria, just a simple device to control the bacteria populations so no one bacteria replaces all other bacteria, and there is always plenty of food around for all the bacteria on a random basis. The resources for all are protected by a second party with a vested interest in a successful outcome for all parties involved.It is also possible that this interaction between phage and bacteria is the start of the  process of single celled organisms adding additional genetic material where the union is either immediate death that creates more phages so the process can be run again or a temporary union that creates a new product.

Since ancient times there have been beliefs that certain rivers had healing abilities for infectious diseases. Perhaps people should not be so quick to dismiss all really old ideas as unimportant. Using beliefs that can not be proven by existing methods but are based on true observations should be part of our heritage.

.The first modern dated observation was in 1859 when Ernest Hanbury Hankin found something in the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in India that exhibited antibacterial action against cholera. Perhaps people should not be so quick to dismiss all old ideas as unimportant. The simple truth is that bacteriopahages reproduce in bacteria by infecting them. Bacteriophages are keyed to go after specific bacteria, like a lock with several keys.

In an open system the bacteria will continue to reproduce and provide reproduction opportunities for the bacteriophages. Phages will infect the same bacteria over a wide geographical area (halfway around the world) the same way.The waters of the earth provide a way of distributing bacteriophages around the globe. As the ph of the waters change so does the variety of the bacteria populations in those waters. Most likely a shift towards an acidic ph will change the current variety of bacteriophages. While the phages are just free floating going to any place where they can find bacteria to infect, changing the overall population of bacteria in the oceans on such a large scale would change the numbers and types of phages present which could cause a shift in the way the bacteria process the natural and man made environments.

In a closed system, such as a living body, it is possible for the bacteriophages to destroy all the bacteria they are matched to. Bacteriophages are an alternative to antibiotic treatment and do not create antibiotic resistance problems. They will reproduce until there is no more bacteria present to destroy and they will not reproduce if there is no bacteria to destroy in the first place.

Phage therapy uses the lytic cycle of infection which results in an immediate destruction of the host bacteria after the phage reproduces inside of the host bacteria. The new phages break out by bursting the bacteria cell wall (lysing). 

There are 13 families and 30 genera of bacteriophages.Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae are in the Caudovirales virus order, also known as tailed bacteriophages.

10 phage families are not assigned to an order:
Corticoviridae     Lipothrixviridae     Plasmaviridae     Rudiviridae     Fuselloviridae     Inoviridae     Microviridae     Leviviridae     Cystoviridae

The other type of infection is the lysogenic cycle where the host bacteria is not killed immediately. The phage can integrate with the host bacteria DNA causing harmless changes or it can make harmless bacteria deadly, such as when a harmless strain of Vibrio cholerae infected by phage turns into a highly virulent one, which causes cholera.  After the infected cell weakens the phage then reproduces and the bacteria's cell walls are broken. Because the infected bacteria does not die right away, its offsprings have the virus in it.There is a growing range of commercial uses for bacteriophages ranging from killing bacteria on food or during food preparation or killing bacteria on a variety of surfaces to treating bacterial infections in people and animals.Genetically engineered bacteriophages are also entering the commercial market place.

Phage ResistancePhage resistance does happen but not the same way nor with the same results as when bacteria gain resistance to antibiotics.The phages themselves will naturally adapt to the new target the bacteria presents because that is one of its natural functions. If they did not adapt to the new bacteria defenses then the phages would die out, which has not happened in 4 billion years. The redesign process is free and automatic.

.Antibiotics can not automatically redesign their structure when antibiotic resistance is achieved. If the phage could not adapt to the resistant bacteria in a relatively short amount of time the phage would disappear.

​ .Redesigning an antibiotic takes many years and may not even yield positive results. In the laboratory it only takes a few weeks to isolate and produce a new phage that is able to overcome the resistance of the new strain of bacteria.

2005 - What Are the Prospects for Therapeutic Uses of Phages in the United States?

2009 - What Are the Prospects for Therapeutic Uses of Phages in the United States?

2011 - What Are the Prospects for Therapeutic Uses of Phages in the United States?

2012 - Prospects are looking better for the phage industry in 2012.

Phages have always been used for identification of bacteria, and now an increasing role in protecting the world's food industry, with an increasing view towards treatment of infections in the western world. The amount of testing will probably be tempered by ever increasing severity of public episodes. Most likely less threatening infections will be the first recipients of lowering thresholds of concern. The sheer volume of phage activity on a world wide daily basis has been going on for billions of years, it is a stable established system which does not use human approval to do anything, and it is doing far more than we know at this present time.

According to Alexander Sulakvelidze,  Another nontechnical obstacle is potentially more challenging. For one reason or another some experts continue to question the scientific validity of phage therapy-a skepticism that traces to the 1920s when the nature of phage was the subject of fierce debate. Indeed, many scientists questioned d'Herelle's studies, and some skeptics believed that phages were enzymes rather than viruses.

21012 is looking to be a better year for the phage industry.A phage lytic enzyme that phages use to break out of bacteria cell walls is being tested for human use in treating MRSA in 2012....researchers at the Science Foundation Ireland-funded Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) at University College Cork (UCC) and Teagasc in Moorepark have used two phage viruses to attack the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa in lab models of infection. 

Here is an excellent overall description of the current bacteriophage situation. African Journal of Microbiology Research Vol. 6(14), pp.  3366-3379, 16 April, 2012, DOI: 10.5897/AJMR11.968ISSN 1996-0808 ©2012 Academic Journals  ReviewBacteriophage therapy revisitedKhalil Ahmed, Naheed N. Kaderbhai and Mustak A. Kaderbhai 

The efficacy of phage therapy was controversial from the outset, and several early studies yielded negative results in part because of their inappropriate use of phages.

For example, phages were sometimes used to treat viral diseases or in other cases where the disease agent was unknown. Some skeptics set aside phage therapy, discounting it for being a "Soviet" approach while raising criticisms that perhaps stemmed from political and ideological sources.

However, the emergence of multi-antibiotic-resistant pathogens caused that attitude to begin to change, and phage therapy has been increasingly re-evaluated in the West during the last 5-10 years.Why we don't have a whole lot of time to figure out a strategy.

The number of infectious that are circulating in the world and are expected to eventually reside in the US is approximately 50.

You could say West Nile was a sign of things to come. Obviously West Nile virus did not originate in North America but it is here now. There are 50 or so more to come in the near future. Old fashioned testing is expensive and slow and quite simply not used. News release Sept 2011, U.S. blood supply vulnerable to parasitic infection spread by ticks. To reduce risk, Babesia test is needed to screen blood donors.

Chemical substance testing is taking giant leaps to speed through thousands of tests a week, perhaps the same can be done for blood testing. The robot system is set to test 10,000 chemicals found commonly in industrial and consumer products as well as food additives and pharmaceutical products.

Evergreen State College Phage Biology and Phage TherapyThe 19th International Phage Biology Meeting at the Evergreen State College will be held August 7 through 12, 2011, exploring all aspects of phage biology, genomics, ecology and applications. — The Bacteriophage Ecology GroupHome of Phage Ecology and Phage Evolutionary BiologyBacteriophage levels and environmental ph
The Centre for Environmental Research in Minerals, Metals, and Materials, The University of British Columbia
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, October 2000
Study of phage interaction and competition in natural soil environment.Bacteria are ubiquitous in the environment, with a global estimate of 4 × 1030 to 6 × 1030 cells . With this ubiquity comes an importance to the biosphere that is well recognized; thus, any process that substantially affects natural bacterial communities will also be significant. One such process may be predation by bacteriophages (phages). It is thought that predatory phages could control the numbers of bacteria and facilitate gene transfer between bacteria by transduction (5, 6, 14). Certainly phages are as common as bacteria. In addition, estimates of phage abundance in aquatic habitats suggest their numbers are 10 times greater than those of bacteria (5). Extrapolating this estimate to the biosphere at large would make phages the most abundant organisms on earth. 

JSC BIOCHIMPHARM  Manufacturer of bacteriophage preparations, Historical Overview and Advantages of Phage Therapy
Bacteriophage-delivered DNA vaccineControl of bacterial disease, such as bacteriophage having strong lytic activity against strains of bacteria.

FDA approved using bacteriophages on cheese to kill the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, giving them GRAS status (Generally Recognized As Safe).  In July 2007, the same bacteriophages were approved for use on all food products.

Exploiting phages for counteracting bioweapons and toxins Bacteriophage spray application in horticulture for protecting plants and vegetable produce from decay and the spread of bacterial disease.Bacteriophages as a biocide for environmental surfaces such as hospitals Reventative treatment for catheters and medical devices prior to use in clinical settingsPhages to be applied to dry surfaces e. g. uniforms, curtains - even sutures for surgeryVeterinary treatment of dogs with otitis.

Phage display is a different use of phages, test used to screen for protein-protein interactions and protein-DNA interactionsBacteriophage is useful for preparing bacterial vaccines or bacterins that eliminate or reduce colonization of the targeted bacteria

Useful in methods of screening environmental samples (including food products and food processing equipment) and clinical specimens for the presence of viable cells of targeted bacteria
Bacteriophages have been used for the treatment of patients with bacterial infections in some regions of the world for nine decades
Potential means of topical administration include sprays, aerosols, lozenges, mouthwash, suppositories, bandages, eye drops, and tampons. Intrapleural administration and bladder irrigation are also feasibleUse in food safety, agriculture, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine, aquaculture, waste-water treatment, and environmental remediation. 
Genetically modify bacteria
Use of bacteriophage as a monitoring tool for detecting bacteria activityDiscoveries Made with Bacteriophage - - confirmation that genes are made of DNA - nature of the genetic code - messenger RNA - co-linearity of gene and protein - restriction and modification enzymes - DNA ligase - DNA cloning - circular DNA - chemical nature (protein) and mode of action (DNA        binding) of a transcription factor (lambda repressor) - important features of the mechanism of DNA replication                  (rolling circle; RNA primers; initiation)  - physical nature of genetic recombination  - SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis  - plaque assay  - site-specific recombination  - chaperonins  -  (incl. eclipse, intracellular assembly)  - nature and types of genetic mutations  - virus-mediated gene transfer between cells           (now called “gene therapy”)  - characterization of insertion sequences, transposons,        and invertible DNA segments  - anti-termination as a mechanism of transcriptional regulation   - retroregulation as a mechanism of translational regulation   - overlapping genesEquipmentDesktop Sequencer Developed At Ion Torrent - Ion Personal Genome Machine Sequencer - direct translation of genetic information (DNA) to digital information (DNA sequence)Anti-Bacterial Cloth and Clothing
UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK: THE DEVELOPMENT of clothing that kills superbugs may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but it is fast becoming a reality thanks to the work of a team co-ordinated by the Materials and Surface Science Institute at the University of Limerick.Bacteriophage Books Bacteriophage: Genetics and Molecular BiologyBacterial and Bacteriophage GeneticsThe BacteriophagesBacteriophages in the Control of Food- And Waterborne PathogensPhage Therapy Amazon booksBacteriophages and Biofilms: Ecology, Phage Therapy, Plaques (Bacteriology Research Developm)Phage Research and Development CompaniesAvid Bioservices Announces Addition of Novel Bacteriophage Production System at Upcoming BIO Convention as Part of a Collaboration with Phage PharmaceuticalsInnophage - Innovative Bacteriophage Research a knowledge-based biotechnology company devoted to exploit new technological platforms in the Health sector with special focus in the environment based detection of resistant bacteria.Intralytix, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the production and marketing of bacteriophage-based products to control bacterial pathogens in environmental, food processing, and medical settings.New Horizons Diagnostics specializes in manufacturing tests for the rapid detection of bacteria and toxins in human, environmental, surface, food, and water samples.Novolytics products exploit the use of bacteriophages – environmentally natural killers of pathogenic bacteria, which are 100% specific to the target pathogenPhage Biotech Ltd - Our mission is to replace antibiotics and disinfectants where these no longer work, are inapplicable or becoming the problem itselfMicroPhage delivers high-value bacterial diagnostics for bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing
FDA Clears First One-Day Susceptibility Test for Diagnosis of Deadly Bacteria. The MicroPhage test is unique because it not only enables doctors to identify a S. aureus infection; it also determines whether the strain is methicillin resistant (MRSA) or methicillin susceptible (MSSA), thus providing the physician with the means to determine an effective course of treatment. 
Links Centre for Environmental Research in Minerals, Metals, and Materials, The University of British Columbia of---Patent-7745194

Bacteria herded by phages built a world resulting in half of the worlds bacterial population being consumed by phages every two or three days. The process is random and results in little loss of diversity, in fact it actually increases the overall diversity of life by insuring nutrients and space for the always evolving bacteria.