Pathogenic bacteria cause illness in humans and animals. These harmful bacteria reproduce quickly in the body and produce toxic proteins. Antibiotics are the usual treatment, but bacterial mutations that result in antibiotic resistance are becoming more common world-wide. An alternative approach to treating bacterial infections is to infect the bacteria with bacteriophages. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect and kill bacterial cells. These natural killers of bacteria can overcome all of the cellular or organism-level defences. 

Bacteriophage Life Cycle

Bacteriophages attach to targeted bacteria, insert genetic information, replicate using the host bacterium, destroy the bacterium, and move on to kill yet more bacteria.

Image: bacteriophage life cycle

Image: bacteriophage life cycle

The Challenge with Bacteriophages

In natural settings, bacteriophages can be isolated from the environment where a particular bacterium grows (e.g., from sewage or feces). While harvesting natural bacteriophage is possible, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. The bacteriophages found in nature are very specific to the one type of disease-causing bacterial species. 

Our alternative to this system is to design (not find) bacteriophages that can attack multiple species of bacteria. Cytophage Technologies offers a solution with tailor-made synthetic bacteriophages that combat bacterial infections and contaminations.