The use of bacteriophages as antibacterial therapeutics is an option that has been underappreciated for too long, considering the current crisis of widespread resistance to antibiotics. As I've reported three years ago, much of the ecological research into the triangular relationship between a pathogenic bacterium, its host and its phage has been carried out with plants such as the horse chestnut. This has now reached the point where experimental treatments for plant diseases can be introduced based on phage cocktails. These can also serve as models to study the promise and pitfalls of future use of phages to treat infectious diseases in humans.
My feature is out in Current Biology today:
Phage therapies for plants and people
Current Biology Volume 24, Issue 12, 16 June 2014, Pages R541–R544
NB there has been a change of access policy so the features will no longer be on open access in the first two weeks after publication date. They will, however, become freely accessible one year after publication. If you have problems accessing a feature, please do drop me an email (michaelgrr aatt yahoo ddott co ddott uk) - I have pdf files at hand which I'll be happy to send for personal use.
A horse chestnut sapling, own photo.