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Bacteriophage-based probiotic preparation for managing Shigella infections

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
351 W CAMDEN ST STE 100 Baltimore, MD 21201-8603
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: Bacteriophage-based probiotic preparation for managing Shigella infections
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: W911NF-09-C-0167
Award Amount: $99,997.00


Diarrhea remains a major public health challenge worldwide, and it also may significantly hamper US troop operations during combat and peacekeeping missions overseas. Antibiotics can be used to treat diarrheal diseases; however, some foodborne and waterborne bacterial pathogens are developing resistance against antibiotics, which limits their effectiveness. Also, antibiotics - because of their broad spectrum activity - may disturb/alter the GI tract's normal and beneficial microflora, which may create additional health problems. Therefore, novel approaches are needed to help prevent and treat bacterial-elicited diarrhea among US troops, thereby improving their combat readiness and performance. Synbiotics (combinations of probiotics and prebiotics) may provide one such approach. However, one potentially useful probiotic intervention that has not received much attention in the past is to use bacteriophages to target "problem" bacterial species in the human GI tract. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, are highly specific, and lyse their targeted bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains. Thus, synbiotic preparations containing (i) bacteriophages targeting specific diarrhea-causing bacteria, (ii) previously described, bacteria-based probiotics, and (iii) prebiotics may provide excellent protection against diarrheal illnesses among US troops and civilian populations. In this application, we propose to begin developing and testing a synbiotic preparation whose phage component is specifically active against Shigella spp., which are significant diarrhea-causing pathogens.

Principal Investigator:

Alexander Sulakvelidze
Chief Scientist

Business Contact:

John D. Vazzana
President and CEO
Small Business Information at Submission:

Intralytix, Inc.
The Columbus Center 701 E. Pratt Street Baltimore, MD 21202

EIN/Tax ID: 522112466
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Florida
Research and Graduate Programs
219 Grinter Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611 5500
Contact: Thomas Walsh
Contact Phone: (352) 392-1582
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university