Bacteriophages: the dawn of a new era in periodontal microbiology?

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The oral microbiome, populated by a diverse range of species, plays a critical role in the initiation and progression of periodontal disease. The most dominant yet little-discussed players in the microbiome, the bacteriophages, influence the health and disease of the host in various ways. They, not only contribute to periodontal health by preventing the colonization of pathogens and disrupting biofilms but also play a role in periodontal disease by upregulating the virulence of periodontal pathogens through the transfer of antibiotic resistance and virulence factors. Since bacteriophages selectively infect only bacterial cells, they have an enormous scope to be used as a therapeutic strategy; recently, phage therapy has been successfully used to treat antibiotic-resistant systemic infections. Their ability to disrupt biofilms widens the scope against periodontal pathogens and dental plaque biofilms in periodontitis. Future research focussing on the oral phageome and phage therapy’s effectiveness and safety could pave way for new avenues in periodontal therapy. This review explores our current understanding of bacteriophages, their interactions in the oral microbiome, and their therapeutic potential in periodontal disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Microbiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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