Starter inhibition by bacteriophage infection in dairy fermentations can limit the usage of specific bacterial strains used in the manufacture of Cheddar, Mozzarella and other cheeses and can result in substantial economic losses. A variety of practical measures to alleviate the problem of phage infection have been adopted over the years but has invariably resulted in a very limited number of strains which can withstand intensive usage in industry. The application of genetic techniques to improve the phage-resistance of starter cultures for dairy fermentations has been intensively studied for the last 20 years to a point where this approach now has significant potential to alleviate the problem. This paper highlights the recent findings and developments that have been described in the literature that will have an impact on improvement of the phage-resistance of starter cultures.
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