Investigation of in vitro phage therapy with free and encapsulated phage targeting S. aureus infection in human cells.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: School of Life Sciences


Bacteriophages, or phages, are viruses that can target their host bacteria with great specificity. Due to their small genome they are excellent tools for genetic engineering. The concept of using phages as therapeutics contrary to conventional broad spectrum antibiotics for the treatment/control of bacterial infections is becoming important due to the problem of antimicrobial resistance. Staphyloccoccus aureus is infamous for its methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) serotype. The emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus such as is a major health problem for patients. In combination with the lack of an approved vaccine for S. aureus and their specificity for clearing bacterial infections, this has made the option of phage therapy to be very attractive. Literature has shown encapsulating phage in liposomes causes phage to be more stable in solution, potentially allowing to increase circulation time as a therapeutic and making any phage based therapeutics more stable in storage. In this project, we aim to investigate the invasion of S. aureus in different human cell lines with the potential to control the infection using a S. aureus-specific K phage. We then aim to encapsulate phage K into liposomes and test the efficiency of infection clearance by the encapsulated phages to validate them as a method for delivering controlled and safe phage therapy.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M01116X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2264836 Studentship BB/M01116X/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023 Nathan James Burton