Opportunities and Challenges
Bacteriophages are self-propagating and grow exponentially at the site of infection, lysing bacterial targets while unable to infect host cells thus limiting toxicity. Bacteriophage usually have a very narrow host range, allowing direct targeting of pathogenic bacteria without broadly affecting the normal microbiota. In general, they must be used synergistically with antibiotics or in "cocktails" of several phage to limit selection of resistant bacteria. As they are unlike any drug, new methodologies for detailed pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) studies are needed to understand the optimal dosing concentration as well as frequency, duration, and route of bacteriophage administration.