Phage technology, also known as phage therapy, it is an evolving field that explores the use of bacteriophages (or phages) to combat bacterial infections. Bacteriophages are viruses that specifically infect and replicate within bacteria. They are highly diverse and can target and kill specific strains of bacteria while leaving other bacteria and human cells unaffected. One of the major advantages of phage therapy is its specificity. Each phage has a narrow host range, meaning it can infect and kill only certain strains or species of bacteria. This specificity allows for targeted treatment, minimizing harm to beneficial bacteria in the body.
In this page you will learn what is going on in Tanzania regarding phage researches and the discovery that can lead to the commercialization of phage products.
- Phage isolation and characterization: Phages from different sources (animals, human and environment) will be isolated by screening for their ability to infect specific bacteria. Once isolated, phages will be characterized through various methods, such as electron microscopy, DNA sequencing, and host range determination. In the environment sources, such as sewage, soil, and water will be sampled for phage isolation.
- Phage therapy: To explore the use of phages as an alternative treatment option that can potentially overcome bacterial resistance mechanisms. Phage therapy is considered a promising approach to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria which has become a significant global health concern
- Development of phage cocktails: Development of a mixture of multiple phages will be designed to target and kill a broader range of bacterial strains or species.
- Formulation and delivery: Phage preparations will be formulated in different ways, such as liquid solutions, gels, or ointments, depending on the target infection site. Delivery methods will include oral, topical, intravenous, and localized administration, depending on the type and location of the infection. Some formulations will be applied in the environment to clean bacterial pathogens contaminating surfaces.
On going Projects on Phages
- Chengula AA, Sanga G, Hoza A (2022-2024). Application of Phage Technology in Poultry industry: An alternative to antibiotics for control of antimicrobial resistance and enhancing productivity. A SUA Research and Innovation Support (SUARIS), 30,000,000 Tanzanian shillings; Principal Investigator.