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Reviving phage therapy for the treatment of cholera

Bhandare, Sudhakar; Colom, Joan; Baig, Abiyad; Ritchie, Jenny M.; Bokhari, Habib; Shah, Muhammad A.; Sarkar, B.L.; Su, Jingliang; Wren, Brendan; Barrow, Paul; Atterbury, Robert J.


Sudhakar Bhandare

Joan Colom

Abiyad Baig

Jenny M. Ritchie

Habib Bokhari

Muhammad A. Shah

B.L. Sarkar

Jingliang Su

Brendan Wren

Paul Barrow

Robert J. Atterbury


Cholera remains a major risk in developing countries, particularly after natural or man-made disasters. Vibrio cholerae El Tor is the most important cause of these outbreaks, and is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, so alternative therapies are urgently needed. In this study, a single bacteriophage, Phi_1, was used prophylactically and therapeutically to control cholera in an infant rabbit model. In both cases, phage-treated animals showed no clinical signs of disease, compared with 69% of untreated control animals. Bacterial counts in the intestines of phage-treated animals were reduced by up to 4 Log10 CFU/g. There was evidence of phage multiplication only in animals which received a V. cholerae challenge. No phage-resistant bacterial mutants were isolated from the animals, despite extensive searching. This is the first evidence that a single phage could be effective in the treatment of cholera, without detectable levels of resistance. Clinical trials in human patients should be considered.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 15, 2019
Print ISSN 0022-1899
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 219
Issue 5
Pages 786–794
APA6 Citation Bhandare, S., Colom, J., Baig, A., Ritchie, J. M., Bokhari, H., Shah, M. A., …Atterbury, R. J. (2019). Reviving phage therapy for the treatment of cholera. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 219(5), 786–794. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiy563
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