Application to Control Shiga-toxin producing E. Coli O 157:H7, O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145.

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Bacterial resistance has developed towards antibiotics and chemical sanitizers due to their mass applications in food. Research is beginning to show that bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella have both become resistant to lactic and peroxyacetic acid solutions, commonly used antimicrobial intervention in meat harvesting and processing plants. In order to avoid the emergence of resistant pathogenic bacteria in the food industry, novel strategies and products need to be developed to protect consumer wellbeing.



Our researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have developed solutions capable to minimize the prevalence of  Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) O157:H7 and the “Big Six” strains O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145 in meats and fresh produce by utilizing seven first-identified phages. Our phages were isolated from raw sewage and went through extensive purification and amplification processes.



  • Application of our bacteriophages on foods can improve production efficiency and ensure human health by decreasing contamination during processing and avoiding foodborne illness outbreaks.
  • Lowering the incidence of STEC in meats and vegetables, makes it possible to ensure a safe supply of foods, decrease food recalls, avoid costs associated with public health, and improve industry profitability.
  • Six of our phages were specifically isolated to target the “Big Six” strains and showed to be 99% efficient against those strains
  • Bacteriophages may reduce STEC from 70-99% in meats and fresh produce, respectively.
  • Bacteriophages are harmless to humans since they specifically target undesirable bacteria.
  • Bacteriophage solutions are natural and can be categorized as an “organic” ingredient.




Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
David Maine
Senior Licensing Associate
University of Nevada, Reno
Amilton de Mello
Erica Shebs
Life Sciences