List of limitations facing phage therapy (disadvantages of using phage therapy)
Take long to prepare (cant be used in an emergency)
Bacteriophages necessitate a slew of tests, beginning with isolation, purification, characterization, and storage. Because all of these processes can take days to weeks, phage therapy is not appropriate for use in an emergency. Some researchers have attempted to develop phage cocktails that increase the likelihood of encountering a sensitive pathogen, thereby shortening the preparation time by using ready-prepared products.
Can not be used as a wide-spectrum antibiotics
Bacteriophages are viruses, and viruses are mostly specific to a specific host cell, which means they attack one bacteria group but not another. This has limited the use of phage therapy in cases where multiple bacterial infections necessitate the use of a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent. A phage cocktail can also be used to solve this problem.
Contribute to the Development of Antibiotic Resistance (Horizontal Transfer of Antibiotic Resistance Genes to the bacteria)
The DNA of lysogenic phages is incorporated into the bacterial genome. As a result, they may serve as vehicles for the horizontal exchange of genetic material and aid in the spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). In theory, transduction can result in the acquisition of lethal or new genes by new microbes or even more resistant bacteria. However, the true contribution of phages to the spread of ARGs is not well defined. Most studies that have specifically planned to measure how frequently phages encode ARGs have suggested that these viruses are ARG reservoirs.
Reduced Activity Due to Immune System Response
Bacteriophages and their products are non-self-antigens, so it’s not surprising that they can be recognized by the immune system and cause responses that could theoretically reduce the benefit of their administration. Immune responses have been demonstrated in both experimental animals and humans, though this may vary depending on the phage strain, route of administration, and prior exposure.