Microencapsulation with alginate/CaCO 3: A strategy for improved phage therapy

Joan Colom, Mary Cano-Sarabia, Jennifer Otero, Javier Aríñez-Soriano, Pilar Cortés, Daniel Maspoch, Montserrat Llagostera

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© 2017 The Author(s). Bacteriophages are promising therapeutic agents that can be applied to different stages of the commercial food chain. In this sense, bacteriophages can be orally administered to farm animals to protect them against intestinal pathogens. However, the low pH of the stomach, the activities of bile and intestinal tract enzymes limit the efficacy of the phages. This study demonstrates the utility of an alginate/CaCO3 encapsulation method suitable for bacteriophages with different morphologies and to yield encapsulation efficacies of ∼100%. For the first time, a cocktail of three alginate/CaCO3-encapsulated bacteriophages was administered as oral therapy to commercial broilers infected with Salmonella under farm-like conditions. Encapsulation protects the bacteriophages against their destruction by the gastric juice. Phage release from capsules incubated in simulated intestinal fluid was also demonstrated, whereas encapsulation ensured sufficient intestinal retention of the phages. Moreover, the small size of the capsules (125-150 μm) enables their use in oral therapy and other applications in phage therapy. This study evidenced that a cocktail of the three alginate/CaCO3-encapsulated bacteriophages had a greater and more durable efficacy than a cocktail of the corresponding non-encapsulated phages in as therapy in broilers against Salmonella, one of the most common foodborne pathogen.
Original languageEnglish
Article number41441
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2017

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    Colom, J., Cano-Sarabia, M., Otero, J., Aríñez-Soriano, J., Cortés, P., Maspoch, D., & Llagostera, M. (2017). Microencapsulation with alginate/CaCO 3: A strategy for improved phage therapy. Scientific Reports, 7, [41441]. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep41441