On May 12th, the biaseparations.com website will be retired and migrated tosartorius.com.Learn moreabout our combined offering today!

Lucija Rebula, Andrej Raspor, Mojca Bavčar, Aleš Štrancar and Maja Leskovec

Journal of Chromatography B, Volume 1217, 15 February 2023

Bacteriophages represent immense potential as therapeutic agents. Many of the most compelling applications of bacteriophages involve human therapy, some pertinent to gene therapy, others involving antibiotic replacement. Phages themselves are considered safe for humans. However, phage lysates may contain many kinds of harmful by-products, especially endotoxins of gram-negative bacteria and protein toxins produced by many pathogenic bacterial species. In bacteriophage research and therapy, most applications ask for highly purified phage suspensions, as such it is crucial to reduce proteins, endotoxins, DNA and other contaminants.
In this article we present an efficient two-step chromatographic purification method for P. aeruginosa bacteriophage PP-01, using Convective Interaction Media (CIM®) monoliths, that is cGMP compliant and easy to scale-up for most stringent production of the therapeutic phage. First chromatographic step on CIMmultus OH resulted in 100% bacteriophage recovery with a reduction of 98 % protein and more than 99 % DNA content. Polishing was conducted using three different column options, CIMmultus with QA, H-Bond and PrimaS ligands. For PP-01 bacteriophage all three different options worked, but multimodal ligands H-Bond and PrimaS outperformed traditional QA in endotoxin removal (7 log step reduction). Additionally, an HPLC analytical method was developed to estimate phage concentration and impurity profile in different in-process samples. The HPLC method shows good correlation with drop assay titration, provides useful insights and can be run very fast with just 20 min per sample analysis.

Download full article

Full view


Hietala V, Horsma-Heikkinen J, Carron A, Skurnik M, Kiljunen S.

Frontiers in microbiology vol. 10 1674. 23 Jul. 2019


The production of phages for therapeutic purposes demands fast, efficient and scalable purification procedures. Phage lysates have a wide range of impurities, of which endotoxins of gram-negative bacteria and protein toxins produced by many pathogenic bacterial species are harmful to humans. The highest allowed endotoxin concentration for parenterally applied medicines is 5 EU/kg/h. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of different purification methods in endotoxin and protein toxin removal in the production of phage preparations for clinical use. In the purification assays, we utilized three phages: Escherichia phage vB_EcoM_fHoEco02, Acinetobacter phage vB_ApiM_fHyAci03, and Staphylococcus phage vB_SauM_fRuSau02. The purification methods tested in the study were precipitation with polyethylene glycol, ultracentrifugation, ultrafiltration, anion exchange chromatography, octanol extraction, two different endotoxin removal columns, and different combinations thereof. The efficiency of the applied purification protocols was evaluated by measuring phage titer and either endotoxins or staphylococcal enterotoxins A and C (SEA and SEC, respectively) from samples taken from different purification steps. The most efficient procedure in endotoxin removal was the combination of ultrafiltration and EndoTrap HD affinity column, which was able to reduce the endotoxin-to-phage ratio of vB_EcoM_fHoEco02 lysate from 3.5 × 104 Endotoxin Units (EU)/109 plaque forming units (PFU) to 0.09 EU/109 PFU. The combination of ultrafiltration and anion exchange chromatography resulted in ratio 96 EU/109 PFU, and the addition of octanol extraction step into this procedure still reduced this ratio threefold. The other methods tested either resulted to less efficient endotoxin removal or required the use of harmful chemicals that should be avoided when producing phage preparations for medical use. Ultrafiltration with 100,000 MWCO efficiently removed enterotoxins from vB_SauM_fRuSau02 lysate (from 1.3 to 0.06 ng SEA/109 PFU), and anion exchange chromatography reduced the enterotoxin concentration below 0.25 ng/ml, the detection limit of the assay.

Keywords: antibiotic resistance, bacteriophage, phage therapy, endotoxin, enterotoxin

Read full article

Full view


J-P Pirnay et al.

Pharm Res, Springer, 14 Jan 2015

The worldwide antibiotic crisis has led to a renewed interest in phage therapy. Since time immemorial phages control bacterial populations on Earth. Potent lytic phages against bacterial pathogens can be isolated from the environment or selected from a collection in a matter of days. In addition, phages have the capacity to rapidly overcome bacterial resistances, which will inevitably emerge.
To maximally exploit these advantage phages have over conventional drugs such as antibiotics, it is important that sustainable phage products are not submitted to the conventional long medicinal product development and licensing pathway. There is a need for an adapted framework, including realistic production and quality and safety requirements, that allows a timely supplying of phage therapy products for 'personalized therapy' or for public health or medical emergencies.
This paper enumerates all phage therapy product related quality and safety risks known to the authors, as well as the tests that can be performed to minimize these risks, only to the extent needed to protect the patients and to allow and advance responsible phage therapy and research.

Download full article

Full view