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Bacteriophages ever been known to be responsible for a disease

  1. Sep 17, 2005 #1
    Have bacteriophages ever been known to be responsible for a disease that we have a name for?

    I know bacteriophages only plant their lunar landers on bacteria, but have they ever destryed good bacteria, say within out digestive track en mass?

    ie have bacteriophages ever gotten anyone sick, and if so is it an illness that anyone would recognize?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2005 #2
    i have people with various bacterial infections
     
  4. Sep 17, 2005 #3

    iansmith

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    Bacteriophages are bacteria specific and in some cases species specific. Bacteriophages are experimentally been used to cure bacterial infection.

    the microflora of your intestinal track is quite diverse and to cause disease the bacteriophage would have to be able to infected multiple species and groups of bacteria. Bacteriophages may be part of the natural intestinal environment. If a bacteriophage would be able to destroy the microflora, a phage resistant pathogen would have to take over and cause disease in order to be noticed.

    I do not think it is likely that a bacteriphage would cause problem by destroying your microflora. Most phage only have a very restricted spectrum of host and the microflora is too diverse to be wipe out be a phage.

    The only was a phage would produce disease is by transferring virulence factors from a pathogen to an avriulent bacteria. This is indirect and depends on the host bacteria but there is several well documented case of phage genes integrated into the a pathogens genome.
     
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