Bacteriophage treatment decontaminates infant formula

A phage showed strong antimicrobial activity against a type of foodborne bacterium that often kills infants after infecting them via infant formula. The research was published Oct. 23 online in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

750px-PhageExterior.svgIn the study, the phage, called “CR5,” showed high antimicrobial activity against the bacterium, Cronobacter sakazakii, as well as against several other species of Cronobacter, which can also cause dangerous illness, says coauthor Sangryeol Ryu, professor in the Department of Agricultural Biotechnology at the Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences based at Seoul National University in Korea.

The research was conducted using infant formula that had been contaminated with C. sakazakii. “Interestingly, CR5 killed C. sakazakii quickly, and no C. sakazakii was detected in the infant formula after 10 hours had passed,” said Ryu.

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