Bacteriophage administration significantly reduces Shigella colonization and shedding by Shigella-challenged mice without deleterious side effects and distortions in the gut microbiota
Mai V, Ukhanova M, Reinhard MK, Li M, Sulakvelidze A.
We used a mouse model to establish safety and efficacy of a bacteriophage cocktail, ShigActive™, in reducing fecal Shigella counts after oral challenge with a susceptible strain. Groups of inbred C57BL/6J mice challenged with Shigella sonnei strain S43-NalAcR were treated with a phage cocktail (ShigActive™) composed of 5 lytic Shigella bacteriophages and ampicillin. The treatments were administered (i) 1 h after, (ii) 3 h after, (iii) 1 h before and after, and (iv) 1 h before bacterial challenge. The treatment regimens elicited a 10- to 100-fold reduction in the CFU’s of the challenge strain in fecal and cecum specimens compared to untreated control mice, (P < 0.05). ShigActive™ treatment was at least as effective as treatment with ampicillin but had a significantly less impact on the gut microbiota. Long-term safety studies did not identify any side effects or distortions in overall gut microbiota associated with bacteriophage administration. Shigella phages may be therapeutically effective in a "classical phage therapy" approach, at least during the early stages after Shigella ingestion. Oral prophylactic "phagebiotic" administration of lytic bacteriophages may help to maintain a healthy gut microbiota by killing specifically targeted bacterial pathogens in the GI tract, without deleterious side effects and without altering the normal gut microbiota.
Inbred male C57BL/6J mice
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