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Phage therapy for non-typhoidal Salmonella infection

Westmead Institute for Medical Research and University of Sydney

  • PhD Scholarship
Date Funded:
  • 17 May, 2021
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Dr. Carola Venturini

Research intent

Development of combinations of bacteriophages (bacteria-eaters) that effectively kill non-typhoidal Salmonella, one of the main causes of gastroenteritis outbreaks in Australia.

What is the issues?

Salmonella species are motile Gram negative bacilli responsible for recurrent outbreaks of gastroenteritis in NSW. Infections are caused mainly by contact with contaminated animals and food (mainly poultry and eggs). Notifications of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella continue to increase across Australia with enormous health and economic burden. Antibiotics are not generally used to treat these infections unless severe where they may fail due to antibiotic resistance. Therefore, non-antibiotic solutions are urgently needed.

What does the research aim to do and how?

We will define the most potent bacteriophages and their best combinations (cocktails) and test them in suitable animal models (chickens and their eggs), with and without antibiotics. We will make these available for therapy where current antibiotics fail. The student will learn all the processes required to take this therapy through to completion.