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Bacteriophages Against Intestinal Infections


Bacteriophages as an Alternative Remedy Against Multidrug Resistant Bacteria (Salmonella, Shigella, Pathogenic E.coli) Causing Intestinal Infections in Humans

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-MIB/Microbiology/Biotechnology
  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

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


  • Medizinische Hochschule Hannover / Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology, Germany, Hannover

Project summary

Wide and often groundless application of antibiotics and chemical preparations in medicine, especially those with a wide range of action, has promoted the general spread of bacteria with natural and acquired resistance. In addition, intensive antibiotic therapy is accompanied by a number of complications, including alterations of immune reactivity and the development of secondary infections induced by conditionally-pathogenic microorganisms.

Considering the probability of complications due to the application of antibiotics, interest in the use of phage preparations for this purpose has greatly increased worldwide. This interest is enhanced by a number of positive properties of the phages. These include the ability of high specificity towards the pathogenic agents while sparing the regular flora of the human, their lytic capability against antibiotic-resistant strains and, most important, their safety for the animals and environment (they are naturally occurring bactericides).

As it is known, the main causatives of intestinal infections are Salmonella, Shigella and E.coli and one of the actual problems of public health reduction of such kind of diseases. Difficulty of this problem is that intestinal infections which are caused by S.cholera suis, S.sonnei, S.flexneri, S.typhimurium, E.coli are characterized by some peculiarities, which assist their widespread and make it difficult to provide epidemiological investigations. These peculiarities involve a conditional pathology of instigator, growth of spore forms of diseases, polymorphisms of clinical forms of infections, especially among children of small ages.

Treatment of above mentioned diseases is currently executed by using antibiotics However, their action on the microorganisms often is inefficient because the inducing these diseases strains have become increasingly resistant or are characterized by low sensitivity to the most antibiotics and chemical preparations, so this kind of situation is still problematic and needs to find the specific remedy for treatment.

Problem of treatment of intestinal infections has been in the focus of work in the institute during the last 40 years. Technology for production of prophylactic preparations of salmonella bacteriophages, and treatment regimens were worked out in the laboratory of Microbiology, where under the supervision of Prof. T. Gabisonia a substantial collection of independent bacteriophages active against different intestinal pathogens was accumulated.

According to aforesaid we offer project where specific polyvalent bacteriophages will be used as antibacterial agent against all type of Salmonella, E.coli, Shigella which cause intestinal infections in human.

Virulent and rational phages with wide specter of lytic activity and capability to lysis bacteria as are S.typhimurium, S.enteritidis, S.dublin, S.cholerae suis S.sonnei, S.flexneri and different serological types of intestinal bacteria O26,O45, should be selected for polyvalent phage preparation. After checking of activity and action range of these phages, the main criterion of phage selection is determination of clones’ contents. For this it is necessary to investigate the main and auxiliary taxonomic signs, such as morphology of plaques, structure of nucleocapsids, serological relationship, frequency of mutation of phage resistant bacteria to present clones etc.

For achievement of main goal-production of the highly efficient phage preparation against intestinal pathogens, the following problems should be solved:

1. Creation of an expanded collection of Salmonella, Shigella and pathogenic E.coli strains causing intestinal infections in humans.
2. Isolation, purification and concentration of various phage clones.
3. Investigation of their major taxonomic features (morphology of plaque and nucleocapsids, antigenic composition, mutation frequency, etc.).

Determination of activity and host range of bacteriophages, as well as assessment of the optimal combination of the phages for their effective application and production of polyvalent bacteriophage preparation against intestinal pathogens.


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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