We investigate the possibility that part of the dark matter is riot made out of the usual cold dark matter (CDM) dust-like particles, but is in the form of a fluid of strings with barotropic factor w(s) = -1/3 of cosmic origin. To this aim, we split the dark matter density parameter into two terms and investigate the dynamics of a spatially flat universe filled with baryons, CDM, a fluid of strings and dark energy, modeling the latter as a cosmological constant or a negative pressure fluid with a constant equation of state w < 0. To test the viability of the models and to constrain their parameters, we use the Type la supernovae Hubble diagram and data on the gas mass fraction in galaxy clusters. We also discuss the weak field limit of a model comprising a significant fraction of dark matter in the form of a fluid of strings and show that this mechanism makes it possible to reduce the need for the elusive and up to now undetected CDM. We finally find that a model comprising both a cosmological constant and a fluid of strings fits the data very well and eliminates the need for phantom dark energy, thus representing a viable candidate for alleviating some of the problems plaguing the dark side of the universe.
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