Development of a phage-based technology for eliminating or significantly reducing contamination of fruits, vegetables, and red meat with E. coli O157:

Period of Performance: 09/24/2007 - 09/24/2009

$1.33MM

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Intralytix, Inc.
701 E PRATT ST. STE 4038 Array
Baltimore, MD 21202
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The availability of approaches which reduce contamination of foods with bacterial pathogens is of paramount importance for ensuring the safety and operational readiness of US troops worldwide, as well as for the safety of civilian populations. Intralytix, Inc., has developed and is already commercializing a novel antibacterial technology that may become an important method for improving food safety. The technology utilizes bacteriophages, naturally-occurring predators of bacteria, to reduce the levels of their specifically-targeted pathogenic bacteria in a variety of food-processing settings. In response to the US Army s request for applications (and our subsequently receiving a Phase I SBIR award) for the development of novel, environmentally-friendly, non-chemical approaches for improving the safety of various food products, we (i) developed a phage cocktail (ECP-100) possessing broad-spectrum lytic activity against E. coli 0157:H7, a virulent bacterium responsible for ca. 62,000 foodborne cases of disease/year in the US, and (ii) demonstrated that ECP-100 is effective in reducing contamination of various foods with E. coli 0157:H7. The present Phase II project is critical for supporting additional research required for optimizing ECP-100 s production, obtaining regulatory approvals, and subsequent commercialization.