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Bacteriophages Against Infectious Diseases


Bacteriophages for the Treatment of Infectious Diseases Caused by Antibiotic-Resistant Bacterial Strains of Staphylococcus Aureus and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-CGM/Cytology, Genetics and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology
  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Melnikov V G

Leading Institute
Georgian Academy of Sciences / Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology and Virology, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • The Evergreen State College, USA, MD, Washington\nCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Laboratoire de Microbiologie et Genetique Moleculaire, France, Toulouse

Project summary

Uncontrolled usage of wide spectrum antibiotics against different infectious diseases caused spread of multiresistant bacterial strains. Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are the most common cause of hospital-acquired infections. Staphylococcus is a major pathogen, causes a wide variety of infections, from simple abscesses to fatal sephsis, as well as endocarditis, meningitis, toxinoses, such as food poisoning and toxic shock syndrome. Staphilococcus pathogenic versatility is compounded by its ability to develop resistance to new antibiotics almost as fast as they are introduced. P.aeruginosa is a common opportunistic pathogen, causing many urinary tract, surgical wounds, burns, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary infections, particularly in high-risk populations that consist of immuno-suppressed persons and patients with cancer and organ transplantant. P.aeruginosa exhibits a high natural and acquired resistance against antibiotics. Consequently, the therapeutic usage of bacteriophages against these infections could be an interesting alternative approach. Such remedy, we consider as an innovative, perspective and efficient solution of the problem.

Phage therapy was successfully and effectively used in former Soviet Union. During many years, Tbilisi Institute of Bacteriophages, Microbiology and Virology was the main center of investigation the most dangerous bacterial strains. At the same time, isolation and selection of the phages active against pathogenic bacterial strains, elaboration of therapeutic phage preparations were carried out at the Institute. Phage preparations were successfully used as remedies in hospitals against primary and nosocomial infections, in pediatric, burn, sephsis centers, surgical hospital settings. However, usage of phage preparations in some cases was connected with the difficulties – each preparation contained several components and often they did not reveal specific activity to the bacterial strains with current ethiology.

Therefore, due to the present situation, phage therapy requires more detailed investigation of the bacterial viruses – active components of therapeutic phage preparations. Molecular biological investigation of bacteriophages, determination of mechanisms of phage-host bacterial cell interaction are important for improving the quality and effectiveness of the preparations as well as technological processes of their industry.

The goal of our research is the selection of monoclonal and purified bacteriophages active to P.aeruginosa and S.aureus bacterial strains. On the first stage of the work, hospital bacterial strains will be analyzed; identification and microbiological characterization of nosocomial infectious agents will be carried out. Determination of strains' phage- and antibiotic-resistance will be studied. Genetic determinants of antibiotic-resistance of the bacterial strains will be determined.

The main part of the project is the investigation of virulent bacteriophages. Screening of the strains for phage-sensitivity against Institute's phage collection and isolation of new active phages from the environment will be carried out. Biological, morphological and taxonomical properties of the phages and influence of environmental factors on the phages will be studied.Transducing capacity of all the selected phages and frequency of the mutations responsible for phage-resistance will be studied. Genetic investigation of the phage genomes and determination of phage - host bacterial cell interaction mechanisms will be carried out. Investigation of gene structure of the selected phages with the purpose to avoid possible spread of antibiotic-resistance will be performed. Serological properties of the selected phages and the relationship between the phages will be determined. According to such research, a new inexpensive and efficient strategy based on application of specific bacteriophages to prevent of the spread of infections will be ellaborated. An alternative remedy can be successfully used against multidrag-resistant bacterial strains of P.aeruginosa and S.aureus.

This work is planned to carry out in collaboration with Henry Krisch (CNRS, Toulouse, France) and Betty Kutter (Evergreen State College, Olympia, USA). The share of the know-how of the Georgian scientists in phage therapy and exchange information between the collaborators – participants of the project will help for integration of Georgian researchers in the International science society.

Standard, as well as modern molecular biological and genetic methods will be used in the work.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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