Antimicrobial strategies: bacteriophage studies

Since 2016 the group have embarked on a programme of bacteriophage isolation targetting a range of MDR Enterococcus spp. 

These widespread bacteria are involved in a range of infections, including recalcitrant oral root canal infections (E. faecalis) as well as a range of hard to treat Diabetic Foot Ulcer wounds the most prominent (E. faecalis and faecium). 

Our initial studies isolated a range of novel phage that we are currently expanding with a view to producing a DFU phage cocktail while also extending the programme into other DFU causing pathogens (in collaboration with Dr David Partridge).

SHF2 E.faecalis phage TEM

Anti-biofilm activity

Using a novel Tooth-slice model we proved the ability of our phage to clear biofilm but have also utilised a 3D-skin infection developed by Dr Joey Shepherd to prove their efficacy in a tissue model.

Genomic analysis

Using nanopore technology we are currently sequencing our isolated phage with a particular focus on tail-spike proteins with a view to characterisation of cell wall binding proteins and novel antimicrobial enzymes.

Mauve based genomic comparison of isolated phage genomes


Our first paper in this field was published in 2019, and included work from the PhD of Mohammed Al-Zubidi as well as from a collaboration with Dr Stephane Mesnage that identified the target of our phage as the EPA capsule of E. faecalis.

2023: Hassan's lockdown paper surveying the Enterococcal bacteriophage: A survey of the tail associated lysin landscape

PHD projects:

We have a number of phage related PhD projects on offer for self-funders, but regularly have UKRI or other project advertised on FindaPhD.