NIH awards $2.5M for phage therapy research
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded $2.5 million in grants to 12 institutions to study using bacteriophage therapy to combat antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
Bacteriophages, or phages, are viruses that target and consume bacteria. They are being used in some cases as a last resort to treat resistant bacterial infections that have not responded to traditional antibiotics.
“In recent decades, multidrug-resistant bacteria, particularly those that cause potentially deadly diseases like tuberculosis, have become a serious and growing global public health concern,” NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, said in a press release. “With these awards, NIAID is supporting research needed to determine if phage therapy might be used in combination with antibiotics — or replace them altogether — in treating evolving antibiotic-resistant bacterial diseases.”
The NIH said the funding will address knowledge gaps related to phages, including a study characterizing various types of phages, research investigating how phages combat biofilms, and research to determine how to identify new phages.
Grant recipients include researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Connecticut, Georgia Institute of Technology, Harvard School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Queens College, Texas A&M Agrilife Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Geneve Foundation, Guild Associates, and PhagePro.