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Phage therapy for S. aureus and P. aeruginosa infections

This project is part of the overarching project 'BRICK - Bacteriophage Research on Immune response, Clinical use and Knowledge on virome changes'


October 2019  -  October 2023

Group and collaboration

Dr. Willem van Wamel, MMIZ, Erasmus MC
Dr. My Phan, ViroScience, Erasmus MC
Dr. Pieter-Jan Haas, UMC Utrecht
PhD student: Michèle Molendijk

Project description

Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem and alternative therapies for antibiotic resistant bacteria are becoming more and more important to battle infections. Bacteriophages, phages for short, are viruses that only infect bacteria. Phages were discovered 100 years ago, but were discarded in Western Europe after the discovery of antibiotics. Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe bacteriophages were used to treat infections and are still used for this purpose. However, the safety and above all the efficacy of phage therapy are poorly understood. In this project the interaction between phages, bacteria and the human immune system will be investigated.


  • Determine the interactions between phages and bacteria, including the mechanisms behind these interactions.
  • Study the interaction between phages and human immune cells and other immune factors.
  • Test the safety and efficacy of phage therapy in (animal) models.

Disease Intervention Strategies is the overarching theme for more than 10 PhD tracks in NCOH projects to create new interdisciplinary, inter-thematic, and inter-institutional research collaborations.

PhD student interview

Interview: CSI on nanoscale: ‘The body temperature tells me when the virus killed the bacteria’

In the last decade, bacteria-killing viruses have gained popularity as alternatives for antibiotics. Michèle Molendijk investigates the safety and efficiency of these bacteria killers as drugs.