Bacteriophages, or phages for short, are named after the Greek word "phagein" for food. They are viruses that specifically and exclusively destroy bacteria. The therapeutic potential has long been successfully exploited in Georgia and some Eastern European countries. Both mild and severe infections such as burns, bacterial inflammation of the bone marrow, retina or cystic fibrosis-associated infections can be treated with phages. Due to the increase in multi-resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or Extended Spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producing pathogens, it has also been recognized in Western Europe that phages are an effective alternative to antibiotics.
However, the field of application of phages is not exclusively limited to therapeutic purposes. Phages are also specifically used for the production of antibodies, food preservation, bacterial diagnostics, biofilm degradation and biotechnological processes.
Prof. Bailer's research group is comprehensively engaged in the groundbreaking topic of the application-oriented use of bacteriophages for targeted germ reduction. The key points here are the identification, engineering, cultivation, storage and formulation of phages.