A2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review
The forgotten tale of Brazilian phage therapy (2020)

de Freitas Almeida, G. M., & Sundberg, L.-R. (2020). The forgotten tale of Brazilian phage therapy. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 20(5), e90-e101. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30060-8

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: de Freitas Almeida, Gabriel Magno; Sundberg, Lotta-Riina

Journal or series: The Lancet Infectious Diseases

ISSN: 1473-3099

eISSN: 1474-4457

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 20

Issue number: 5

Pages range: e90-e101

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30060-8

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68812

Additional information: Historical Review.


The use of bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections (known as phage therapy) is considered a possible solution to the antimicrobial resistance crisis. However, phage therapy is not a new concept. The discovery of phages in the early 20th century was closely tied to clinical practice, and phage therapy quickly spread around the world. The use of phage therapy in South America in the previous century is still shrouded in mystery and has been mentioned only briefly in recent scientific literature. Research on Brazilian reference collections of medical texts showed that Brazil was an important, but so far little-known, player of phage therapy, uncovering interesting priority claims and missing pieces of phage therapy history. Of note, there is the widespread use of phages against bacillary dysentery and staphylococcal infections, with José da Costa Cruz from the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) as Brazil's leading expert and pioneer. This Historical Review about historical phage use in Brazil fills the gaps in our knowledge about the so-called golden years of phage therapy, providing information about successful experiences that can be useful against dangerous pathogens in our time.

Keywords: bacterial diseases; bacteriophages; phage therapy; history of science and learning; research history

Free keywords: bacteriophages; bacterial infections; phage therapy; Brazil

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:28