Development of Phage Cocktail Against Superbugs

Development of Phage Cocktail Against Superbugs

Phage therapy is usually performed using a mixture of several phages (phage cocktail). This is because phage mixtures can change rapidly based on changes in the bacteria, including the development of drug resistance. Therefore, continuous re-optimization of the composition and use of phage mixtures can improve the success rate of treatment of superbug infections.

Based on phage characterization, Ace Therapeutics offers services for phage cocktail design and development, including the design of phage mixtures with reference to genomic sequence analysis and re-optimization of phage cocktails in response to bacterial changes.

Hunting for Phage against Superbugs

Phages have long been considered as potential alternative to antibiotics. However, despite the advantages of phages over antibiotics, they have also gradually developed drug resistance. This may hinder the widespread and sustained application of phages. Phage cocktails or a combination of phages and antibiotics are the primary methods considered to address phage resistance. There are many studies showing that mixtures of phages can improve therapeutic efficacy in vivo and in vitro.

Based on this background, we design and develop phage mixtures to counter the rapid evolution of superbugs and suppress the emergence of phage resistance mutants.

Development Services of Phage Cocktail Against Superbugs

We provide a detailed design and development strategy for a more effective phage therapeutic cocktail, particularly for drug-resistant bacterial infections.

  • Rapid isolation and characterization of phages. Not only are conventional procedures for the detection of single plaques and liquid enrichment cultures available here, but also more comprehensive isolation procedures can be designed and developed for a variety of large, aggregated phages that differ from conventional laboratory cultures.
  • Phage genome sequence analysis. We can determine the safety of phage applications by phage genome analysis and make predictions for bacterial virulence genes, antibiotic resistance genes, and tRNA genes.
  • Possibility prediction. After initial phage isolation and characterization, the corresponding phage library can be constructed. The previous data are used to predict the effectiveness of various possible cocktails made from the available phages.
  • Phage cocktail testing. In laboratory culture, determine the minimum concentration of phage cocktail to test these predictions. Modify the design and repeat the prediction procedure based on the results of the assay. After a suitable design is obtained, the phage cocktail procedure can be tested on infected animal models for in vivo studies.

Our development strategy is based on a rapid response approach that provides a rapid response to emerging superbugs.

Application of Our Services

  • Strain variation. We screen and identify phages with the broadest possible host range and develop mixtures containing enough phages to ensure that a particular one of the mixture is able to infect most mutant strains.
  • Resistance to phage. We can use a mixture containing two or more phages for the target strain and reduce the frequency of phage resistance.

Overall, mixtures of phages can improve therapeutic efficacy and overcome the disadvantages of using individual phages for treatment. Contact us if you need to design and develop a phage cocktail for specific host bacteria.


  1. Serwer P, et al. Enhancing and initiating phage-based therapies. Bacteriophage, 2014, 4(4), e961869.
  2. Yuan Y, et al. Efficacy of a phage cocktail in controlling phage resistance development in multidrug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Virus research, 2019, 272, 197734.
All of our services are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.
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