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Development of Phage Therapy in Human Health

Traditional medicine often uses antibiotics or vaccines to control bacterial infections, but the remarkable plasticity of bacteria and the ability to evade treatment by developing resistance were also fully recognized. Therefore, we need more carefully designed new methods to manage bacterial diseases, and phage therapy has the great practical experience and potential value. Creative Biolabs has the most robust phage technology platform to help you develop or explore viable phage therapies in human health.

Introduction of Phage Therapy in Human Health

Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria and are critical to bacterial colony formation in most environments and human bodies. Phage therapy has unique advantages over traditional antibiotic and vaccine therapies. In the case of prophages, the lysogenic cycle occurs when their genomes are assembled into the host chromosome, resulting in the transfer of the host's genetic material between bacteria. Phages tend to be highly specific, while phage therapies are being developed to target specific pathogens and bacterial infections that threaten human health. Humans are suffering from many infections by mutant bacteria, causing dysbiosis and a range of systemic problems and diseases. The broad-spectrum nature of antibiotics kills many commensal bacteria while killing the target bacterial populations, leading to the development of more severe antibiotic resistance and diarrhea. The high specificity of phage therapy has limited impact on the endogenous bacterial community in humans, making it an ideal therapy to protect human intestinal homeostasis.

Types of phages for medical and research use from 2018 to 2021.Fig. 1 Types of phages for medical and research use from 2018 to 2021. (Zaldastanishvili, 2021)

Systemic Infection

Pathogens are not limited to local areas in the body, they may cause systemic infections through lymphatics or invading the blood. Gram-negative bacteria tend to grow and multiply in immunocompromised or ill patients and cause serious infectious diseases such as bacteremia, toxemia, and sepsis. Many species of bacteria can cause systemic or bloodstream infections, including the widely studied Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus enterica, Pasteurella multocida, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. In addition, Vibrio vulnificus and Enterococcus faecalis can also induce bacteremia and systemic infection in animal models. Phage can self-proliferate to a certain population size after delivery, without causing immune response in the human body. Therefore, several phage preparations have entered the clinical trial stage.

SEM image of Staphylococcus aureus.Fig. 2 SEM image of Staphylococcus aureus. (Chopra, 2015)


Pneumonia is one of the most common hospital-acquired diseases, which is caused by Gram-negative bacilli. Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Burkholderia neocepacia cause severe pneumonia and cystic fibrosis. Phage administration can effectively inhibit pneumonia infection induced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae in mouse models.

Enteritis and Colitis

Escherichia coli is one of the most common causes of human diarrheal disease worldwide. Vibrio cholerae is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year. Clostridium difficile is a common cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea. In addition, infections caused by Salmonella, Vibrio hemolyticus, and Clostridium difficile can also lead to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Enterophages targeting such bacteria are mainly single-stranded DNA phages of the Microviridae family and double-stranded DNA phages of the Myoviridae, Podoviridae, and Siphoviridae families. Since phages tend to have a narrow specificity, phage therapy tends to cause no disturbance of the human gut microbiota.

Other Infections

Bacteria cause many types of infections in the human body, such as skin and soft tissue infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Pseudomonas aeruginosa, urinary tract and central nervous system infections caused by Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, Proteus, or acute and chronic wound infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Enterococcus faecalis. Phage therapy is effective in inhibiting the growth and virulence of certain bacterial groups in vitro and in vivo, and phage cocktails targeting bacterial groups have also been validated in clinical experiments, such as vB_StaM_SA1 giant phage against methicillin-resistant or vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, phage EC151 targeting Enterobacter cloacae, or bacteriophage vB_Pae_QDWS capable of recognizing and absorbing Pseudomonas aeruginosa. More applications and research status of phages in human health are listed on other pages.

Interaction between jumbo bacteriophage SA1 and staphylococcus.Fig. 3 Interaction between jumbo bacteriophage SA1 and staphylococcus. (Zhang, 2022)

Related Services

As a leading company in bioscience and phage development, Creative Biolabs provides the most reliable novel phage therapy in human health development services, including but not limited to developing and transforming antagonists of specific strains by phage isolation, amplification, and editing technology, to create a complete phage library and assist basic research by phage purification, identification and characterization technology, screening and validating phage bactericidal ability and identifying phage resistance of bacteria through various in vitro and in vivo assays. No matter what your needs are, we are capable of providing you with the most comprehensive and stable services through a variety of experimental approaches. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information or click the following links:


  1. Zaldastanishvili, E.; et al. Phage therapy experience at the Eliava Phage Therapy Center: three cases of bacterial persistence. Viruses. 2021, 13(1901): v13101901.
  2. Chopra, L.; et al. Sonorensin: A new bacteriocin with potential of an anti-biofilm agent and a food biopreservative. European Scientific Reports. 2015, 5: 13412.
  3. Zhang, B.; et al. Interactions between Jumbo Phage SA1 and Staphylococcus: A Global Transcriptomic Analysis. Microorganisms. 2022, 10: 1590.
For Research Use Only. Do NOT use in humans.

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