Bacteriophage-based probiotic preparation for managing Shigella infections

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W911NF-09-C-0167
Agency Tracking Number: A09A-012-0045
Amount: $99,997.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: A09A-T012
Solicitation Number: 2009.A
Small Business Information
The Columbus Center, 701 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD, 21202
DUNS: 005318758
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Alexander Sulakvelidze
 Chief Scientist
 (410) 625-2533
Business Contact
 John Vazzana
Title: President and CEO
Phone: (410) 625-3813
Research Institution
 University of Florida
 Thomas Walsh
 Research and Graduate Programs
219 Grinter Hall
Gainesville, FL, 32611 5500
 (352) 392-1582
 Nonprofit college or university
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.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government