Phage-Mediated Delivery Of Genes To The Gut Microbiota

Tech ID: 30442 / UC Case 2019-196-0

Invention Novelty

UCSF researchers have developed a novel method of manipulating the gut microbiome via delivery of bacteriophages to selectively remove or modify members of an existing microbial community. 

Value Proposition

A method to modify the gut microbiome by delivery of bacteriophages. This method overcomes drawbacks of existing methods to manipulate microbiome because it is:

1. Precise

2. Predictable

3. Adaptable

Technology Description

The recognition that the gut microbiome has a profound influence on human health and disease has spurred efforts to manipulate gut microbial community structure and function. Though various strategies have been described for modifying the gut microbiota, methods for phage-based genetic manipulation of resident members of the gut microbiota in vivo are currently lacking. UCSF inventors show that bacteriophage can be used as a vector for delivery of plasmid DNA to bacteria colonizing the gastrointestinal tract, using a phage and bacteria engrafted in the gut microbiota of conventional mice. These results provide a well-controlled and adaptable platform for in vivo microbiome engineering using phage and a proof-of-concept for the establishment of phage-based tools for a broader panel of human gut bacteria.


The method will be broadly applicable in both clinical and research settings:

1. Bacteriophages are already used in humans and can be readily modified to precisely target gut bacteria.

2. Therapeutics companies may use this method in research and development for phage therapies.

Looking for Partners

To further develop and commercialize this technology.

Stage of Development

The invention has been reduced to practice. 


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  • Turnbaugh, Peter J.

Other Information


microbiome, bacteriophage, gene delivery

Categorized As