A new study* aimed to evaluate whether a balanced gut microbiota protects against Salmonella growth and to compare two antimicrobial approaches for managing Salmonella infection: bacteriophage treatment and antibiotic treatment.
Anaerobically cultivated human intestinal microflora (ACHIM) is a feasible model for the human gut microbiota and naturally inhibits Salmonella infection. By mimicking Salmonella infection in vitro using ACHIM, authors observed a large reduction of Salmonella growth by the ACHIM itself. Treatments with phage and antibiotic further inhibited Salmonella growth. However, phage treatment had less impact on the nontargeted bacteria in ACHIM than the antibiotic treatment did.
Phage treatment has high specificity when combating Salmonella infection and offers a noninvasive alternative to antibiotic treatment.
* Hu YOO, Hugerth LW, Bengtsson C, Alisjahbana A, Seifert M, Kamal A, Sjoling A, Midtvedt T, Norin E, Du J, Engstrand L. 2018. Bacteriophages synergize with the gut microbial community to combat Salmonella. mSystems 3: e00119-18. https://doi.org/10.1128/mSystems.00119-18.