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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

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Assistant Professorin Veterinary Public Health

Joan Colom

Abiyad Baig

Jenny M. Ritchie

Habib Bokhari

Muhammad A. Shah

B.L. Sarkar

Jingliang Su

Brendan Wren

Paul Barrow


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.


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.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 17, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 3, 2018
Publication Date Feb 15, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 15, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 4, 2019
Journal The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Print ISSN 0022-1899
Electronic ISSN 1537-6613
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 219
Issue 5
Pages 786-794
Keywords Infectious Diseases; Immunology and Allergy
Public URL
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