Novel Methodology for Therapeutic and Prophylactic bacteriophage delivery and amplification using non-pathogenic non-target bacterial hosts for enteric diseases.



Bacterial infections are a serious health risk for animals and humans. Since several strains of bacteria have been found to be resistant to traditional antibiotics, new methods of treating infections that do not involve antibiotics are sought. In addition, food-borne illness caused by bacteria is a serious threat to human health. Some Salmonella bacteria are broadly present and highly pathogenic while others are nonpathogenic.


Bacteriophages are viruses capable of infecting bacteria, replicating and ultimately destroying their host. Bacteriophages have long been suggested as an alternate method to treat enteric (in the gut) infections such as Salmonella.  Since bacteriophages only infect bacteria and pose no health risk to animals, bacteriophages could be safely introduced into the gut to cure bacterial infection. But bacteriophages have had limited commercial applications due to:

1.       Specific compatibility of the phage/bacteria pathogenicity;

2.       Limited ability of bacteriophages to survive the low pH and digestive enzymes of the stomach; and

3.       Bacteriophages’ very low residual rates outside a host in the gut of the animal.


A novel method of delivering bacteriophages has been developed that overcomes the problem of bacteriophage survival in the gastrointestinal tract. Scientists at the University of Arkansas have isolated varieties of bacteriophages that not only invade and replicate inside the target pathogenic bacteria, but also invade and replicate inside non-pathogenic bacteria and other beneficial microflora. The invention demonstrates isolating and culturing bacteriophages that have this property. The phages may be exposed to beneficial bacteria, briefly incubated and introduced to animals in feed or drinking water. The invaded beneficial bacteria pass through the gastrointestinal tract to the gut carrying amplified bacteriophages. Once in the gut, the bacteriophages are present in sufficient numbers to halt the bacterial infection of the host animal.


The invention is patented (US Patent 7,951,579 and 8,367,058).


This technology is currently available for all fields and uses.


Patent Information:
Animal Agriculture
For Information, Contact:
Bryan Renk
Associate Director for Technology Commercialization
University of Arkansas TCO
Billy Hargis
Lisa Bielke
Ann Donoghue
Gerardo Nava
Guillermo Tellez
Dan Donoghue
Stacy Higgins
Lisa Newberry
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