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PhagoVax – Combining Vaccination with Phage Therapy


The project management is responsible for the content of the information provided.

Project data

  • Project no: GRS-093/20 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 244000 
  • Approved: 29.10.2020 
  • Duration: 07.2021 - 06.2023 
  • Area of activity:  Microbials, seit 2016

Project management

Project description

Pork products are important sources of human salmonellosis in the EU and Salmonella spp. represents a major cause of morbidity in pig rearing. The use of antibiotics in livestock production to fight such pathogens is not a sustainable option but alternatives remain scarce. It is therefore crucial to develop safe and affordable multi-pronged methodologies that are robust to evolutionary changes in pathogenic bacteria.
PhagoVax is the first attempt to combine vaccines with phage therapy in order to prevent Salmonellosis in veterinary settings.
The PhagoVax concept emerged from our recent discovery that polyvalent vaccines, targeting all Salmonella Typhimurium (S.Tm) variants, can force the pathogen to lose its protection against phages (viruses that kill bacteria). Therefore, there should be no way for the targeted bacteria to escape eradication in vaccinated animals treated with the right bacteriophage cocktail.
Our goal is to provide a sound proof of principle for this strategy using S.Tm infection in the mouse model. PhagoVax should be rapidly applicable in livestock infection management, with potential for translation in domestic swine.


The search for phages able to kill Salmonella O-antigen variants was a success and our phage cocktail works perfectly in vitro, killing all Salmonella phenotypic variants and preventing the rise of resistant mutants. We are currently assessing the efficacy of the phage cocktail in vivo in combination with vaccines.


Persons involved in the project

Prof. Médéric Diard, University Basel, Biozentrum; project leader
Dr. Nicolas Wenner, project employee

External project partners:
Prof. Luisa De Sordi, Sorbonne Université
Dr. Marianne De Paepe, INRAe

Last update to this project presentation  17.01.2023