The future of bacteriophage therapy will promote antimicrobial susceptibility

Olivia Williams Barber, Iria Mañas Miramontes, Manu Jain, Egon A. Ozer, Erica M. Hartmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rising antimicrobial resistance severely limits efforts to treat infections and is a cause for critical concern. Renewed interest in bacteriophage therapy has advanced understanding of the breadth of species capable of targeting bacterial antimicrobial resistance mechanisms, but many questions concerning ideal application remain unanswered. The following minireview examines bacterial resistance mechanisms, the current state of bacteriophage therapy, and how bacteriophage therapy can augment strategies to combat resistance with a focus on the clinically relevant bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as well as the role of efflux pumps in antimicrobial resistance. Methods to prevent antimicrobial efflux using efflux pump inhibitors and phage steering, a type of bacteriophage therapy, are also covered. The evolutionary context underlying antimicrobial resistance and the need to include theory in the ongoing development of bacteriophage therapy are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00218-21
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Bacteriophage therapy
  • Evolutionary rescue
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications


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