Resistance to antibiotics is an escalating global crisis, presenting a major health, social, and economic burden. An underexplored alternative to antibiotic treatment is phage therapy whereby bacteriophages are used to infect and kill pathogenic multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria. A primary challenge is the highly specific infectivity range of phages that can limit their ability to infect across different bacterial strains. Synthetic biology can enable the design, modification, and synthesis of phages with improved antimicrobial performance and efficacy to help realize novel strategies to study and treat bacterial infectious diseases, including those caused by MDR pathogens. In this perspective article, we discuss the potential for an innovative synthetic biology approach to enhance phage therapeutics and the role a biofoundry can play in bringing phage therapy to fruition.
The Emerging Antibiotic Resistance Crisis