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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of Aerosol Spray and Intramuscular Injection of Bacteriophage to Treat An Escherichia Coli Respiratory Infection

Authors
item HUFF, WILLIAM
item HUFF, GERALDINE
item RATH, NARAYAN
item Balog, Janice
item DONOGHUE, ANN

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 13, 2003
Publication Date: July 1, 2003
Citation: HUFF, W.E., HUFF, G.R., RATH, N.C., BALOG, J.M., DONOGHUE, A.M. Evaluation of Aerosol Spray and Intramuscular Injection of Bacteriophage to Treat an Escherichia coli Respiratory Infection. Poultry Science. 2003. v. 82(7). p. 1108-1112.

Interpretive Summary: Bacteriophage are viruses that can be used to prevent and treat bacterial diseases, and reduce human foodborne pathogens on agricultural products. Two studies were conducted to determine the efficacy of either aerosol or intramuscular (im) injection of bacteriophage to treat an E. coli respiratory infection in broiler chickens. In Study 1 the birds were challenged with E. coli at 7 d of age followed by spraying the birds with either heat killed bacteriophage or active bacteriophage at 2 h, 24 h, or 48 h after challenge. In Study 2 the birds were challenged with E. coli at 7 d of age followed by injection of either heat killed or active bacteriophage immediately after challenge, or 24 h, or 48 h after challenge. In both studies the E. coli challenge consisted of injecting a large number of the disease causing bacteria into the respiratory system. Two studies were conducted to count the bacteriophage in the blood of birds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 24 and 48 h after either being sprayed or injected with bacteriophage. Treating this severe E. coli infection with the bacteriophage aerosol spray significantly reduced mortality from 50 to 20% when given immediately after the challenge, but had little treatment efficacy when administered 24 or 48 h after challenge. The im injection of bacteriophage significantly reduced mortality from 53 to 17%, 46 to 10%, and 44 to 20% when given immediately, 24, or 48 h after challenge, respectively. Very little bacteriophage were detected in the chickens blood 2 to 6 h after administration of the bacteriophage as a spray. All the birds injected im with bacteriophage had high levels of bacteriophage in their blood up to 6 h after bacteriophage administration, and 4 of the 5 birds had detectable bacteriophage in their blood 24 h after bacteriophage administration. These data suggest that bacteriophage may be an effective alternative to antibiotics in animal production when they are administered in a way that delivers high titers of the bacteriophage to the critical site of the bacterial infection.

Technical Abstract: Bacteriophage are viruses that can be used to prevent and treat bacterial diseases, and reduce human foodborne pathogens on agricultural products. Two studies were conducted to determine the efficacy of either aerosol or intramuscular (im) injection of bacteriophage to treat an E. coli respiratory infection in broiler chickens. In Study 1 the birds were challenged with E. coli at 7 d of age followed by spraying the birds with either heat killed bacteriophage or active bacteriophage at 2 h, 24 h, or 48 h after challenge. In Study 2 the birds were challenged with E. coli at 7 d of age followed by injection of either heat killed or active bacteriophage immediately after challenge, or 24 h, or 48 h after challenge. In both studies the E. coli challenge consisted of injecting a large number of the disease causing bacteria into the respiratory system. Two studies were conducted to count the bacteriophage in the blood of birds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 24 and 48 h after either being sprayed or injected with bacteriophage. Treating this severe E. coli infection with the bacteriophage aerosol spray significantly reduced mortality from 50 to 20% when given immediately after the challenge, but had little treatment efficacy when administered 24 or 48 h after challenge. The im injection of bacteriophage significantly reduced mortality from 53 to 17%, 46 to 10%, and 44 to 20% when given immediately, 24, or 48 h after challenge, respectively. Very little bacteriophage were detected in the chickens blood 2 to 6 h after administration of the bacteriophage as a spray. All the birds injected im with bacteriophage had high levels of bacteriophage in their blood up to 6 h after bacteriophage administration, and 4 of the 5 birds had detectable bacteriophage in their blood 24 h after bacteriophage administration. These data suggest that bacteriophage may be an effective alternative to antibiotics in animal production when they are administered in a way that delivers high titers of the bacteriophage to the critical site of the bacterial infection.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014