Pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of antipseudomonal bacteriophage therapy in rats: a proof-of-concept study

Y.W. Lin, R. Yoon Chang, G. G. Rao, B. Jermain, M. L. Han, J.X. Zhao, K. Chen, J.P. Wang, J.J. Barr, R. Turner Schooley, E. Kutter, H. K. Chan, J. Li

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Pan-drug-resistant (PDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the three top-priority pathogens identified by the WHO, and bacteriophages have been investigated as an alternative therapy. However, knowledge on the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) of phage therapy is sparse, limiting its clinical applications. This study aimed to evaluate the PK/PD of the antipseudomonal phage øPEV20 in vivo following intravenous administration. Methods: Healthy Sprague-Dawley rats were given øPEV20 as a single intravenous bolus of ~6, 9 and 11-log10PFU/rat. Arterial blood was sampled over 72 h. At 72 h, the animals were killed and multiple tissues were harvested for biodistribution studies. A PK model was developed using the importance sampling algorithm and deterministic simulations with a PD model were performed. Results: A three-compartment model with non-linear clearance described the exposure of øPEV20 in blood. Model evaluation indicated that the model was robust and parameter estimates were accurate. The median (standard error) values of model-predicted PK parameters for VC, VP1, VP2, Q1, Q2, Vm and Km were 111 mL/rat (8.5%), 128 mL/rat (4.97%), 180 mL/rat (4.59%), 30.4 mL/h/rat (19.2%), 538 mL/h/rat (4.97%), 4.39 × 1010 PFU/h/rat (10.2%) and 1.64 × 107 PFU/mL/rat (3.6%), respectively. The distribution of øPEV20 was not homogeneous; there was preferential accumulation in the liver and spleen. Deterministic simulations with a PD model confirmed the importance of the host immune system in facilitating phage-mediated bacterial elimination. Conclusions: We developed a robust PK model to describe the disposition of phages in healthy rats. This model may have significant potential in facilitating future preclinical and clinical PK/PD investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1229-1235
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Gram-negative bacteria
  • Phage therapy
  • Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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