The bacteriophage project

Bacterial infections cause tremendous suffering and great economic loss in aquaculture farms across the globe. New vaccines are developed and farmers become ever more conscious about biocontrol to reduce the risk of disease outbreaks. Still, bacterial infection remains a serious challenge.

Picture shows to bacteria that are infected with a bacteriophage (type: Podoviridae)

There is great need for additional tools to improve the situation, preferably tools which are safe, efficient and friendly to the environment.

Bacteriophages are viruses which specifically infect bacteria. They are natural predators of bacteria, and Nature’s own biocontrol tools, efficiently ensuring that no single bacterium becomes too dominant in an environment.

Bacteriophages are present in high abundance in all of the biosphere, including oceans, lakes, soil, food and all living creatures. They are highly adapted to infect specific bacterial hosts, and as a result of this host specificity, only target bacteria are killed during treatment. In other words, bacteriophage based products do not affect the commensal microflora of the patient or aquaculture farm water, which is a common side-effect of broad-range antibacterials.

The ACD bacteriophage project aims at developing bacteriophage based products, as efficient tools to give improved biological control in aquaculture farming. We believe that bacteriophages will be important means of reducing the use of antibiotics in aquaculture industries worldwide. Our target products are safe, natural, efficient and targeted against specific bacterial pathogens, thus leaving minimal environmental footprints.

Our Bacteriophage therapy project was started in 2011 and has seen promising results of phage therapy against many bacterial pathogens common in aquaculture.

Work on our main model infection, yersiniosis in Atlantic salmon, has resulted in our first biocontrol product, CUSTUS®YRS, which will enter full scale field trial phase in 2017.

If your farm has challenges with Yersinia ruckeri, and you are interested in taking part in the trials, or you just want to know more about bacteriophages, please contact us. You are very welcome to contact us about other bacterial diseases as well. We are working on several different bacterial indications, both Norwegian and foreign, and are very grateful for your input on current bacterial challenges.

Our project manager, senior scientist, Hans Petter Kleppen can be reached by mail at:, or mobile: (+47) 977 50 860.

This project is supported by: