Skip to main content

The antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages


This inquiry is informed by the successful pitch to the Committee’s My Science inquiry. The World Health Organisation has warned that antibiotic resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today, while the Government’s Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance, Dame Sally Davies, has called AMR the ‘silent pandemic’. There has therefore been increased interest in alternative antimicrobials to be used instead of, or in conjunction with antibiotics. One of these alternative antimicrobials is bacteriophages (‘phages’)—viruses which can kill harmful bacteria but not harm humans. Though there are centres for phages research and phage bio banks, their clinical use has been restricted by regulation in the UK and EU to  individual ‘compassionate use’ where antibiotics have failed. This has been seen as inhibiting the potential of phages to address AMR.

This inquiry is no longer accepting evidence

The deadline for submissions was Friday 20 January 2023.

Reports, special reports and government responses

View all reports and responses
First Report - The antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages
Inquiry The antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages
HC 328
Response to this report
Government's response to the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee's report 'The antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages'
Government Response

Oral evidence transcripts

View all oral evidence transcripts
26 April 2023
Inquiry The antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages
Oral Evidence
15 March 2023
Inquiry The antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages
Witnesses Dr Jean-Paul Pirnay (Head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Technology at Queen Astrid Military Hospital, Brussels), Dr Mzia Kutateladze (Director at George Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology and Virology), Professor Jon Iredell (Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research), Professor Robert Schooley (Professor of Division of Infectious Diseases at UC San Diego School of Medicine), Greg Merril (Chief Operating Officer at Adaptive Phage Therapeutics), Dr Hans Petter Kleppen (Chief Science Officer at ACD Pharma), and Naomi Zak (Founder at BiomX)
Oral Evidence
8 February 2023
Inquiry The antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages
Witnesses Professor Martha Clokie (Professor of Microbiology at University of Leicester), Professor Cath Rees (Professor of Microbiology at University of Nottingham), Professor Joanne M. Santini (Professor of Microbiology at University College London), Dr Josh Jones (Clinical Phage Specialist at NHS Tayside), Dr James Soothill (Consultant Microbiologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital Laboratory Medicine), Ms Stephanie Lesage (Co-Founder/Director and Chief Executive Officer at Oxford Silk Phage Technologies Ltd), and Mr David Browning (Chief Executive Officer at Fixed Phage LTD)
Oral Evidence
CPI (PHA0047)
Centre for Phage Research at the University of Leicester (PHA0046)
UK Phage Therapy (PHA0045)

Contact us

We can’t usually help you with an individual problem or a specific complaint.

  • Email:
  • Phone: 020 7219 5023 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 4984 (media enquiries)
  • Address: Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA