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Viruses 2018, 10(10), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10100537

High Throughput Manufacturing of Bacteriophages Using Continuous Stirred Tank Bioreactors Connected in Series to Ensure Optimum Host Bacteria Physiology for Phage Production

Chemical Engineering Department, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
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Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 1 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Microbes V: Biodiversity and Future Applications)
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Abstract

Future industrial demand for large quantities of bacteriophages e.g., for phage therapy, necessitates the development of scalable Good Manufacturing Practice compliant (cGMP) production platforms. The continuous production of high titres of E coli T3 phages (1011 PFU mL−1) was achieved using two continuous stirred tank bioreactors connected in series, and a third bioreactor was used as a final holding tank operated in semi-batch mode to finish the infection process. The first bioreactor allowed the steady-state propagation of host bacteria using a fully synthetic medium with glucose as the limiting substrate. Host bacterial growth was decoupled from the phage production reactor downstream of it to suppress the production of phage-resistant mutants, thereby allowing stable operation over a period of several days. The novelty of this process is that the manipulation of the host reactor dilution rates (range 0.1–0.6 hr−1) allows control over the physiological state of the bacterial population. This results in bacteria with considerably higher intracellular phage production capability whilst operating at high dilution rates yielding significantly higher overall phage process productivity. Using a pilot-scale chemostat system allowed optimisation of the upstream phage amplification conditions conducive for high intracellular phage production in the host bacteria. The effect of the host reactor dilution rates on the phage burst size, lag time, and adsorption rate were evaluated. The host bacterium physiology was found to influence phage burst size, thereby affecting the productivity of the overall process. Mathematical modelling of the dynamics of the process allowed parameter sensitivity evaluation and provided valuable insights into the factors affecting the phage production process. The approach presented here may be used at an industrial scale to significantly improve process control, increase productivity via process intensification, and reduce process manufacturing costs through process footprint reduction. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteriophages; continuous production; E. coli; mathematical modelling; phage T3; process intensification; synthetic medium bacteriophages; continuous production; E. coli; mathematical modelling; phage T3; process intensification; synthetic medium
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Mancuso, F.; Shi, J.; Malik, D.J. High Throughput Manufacturing of Bacteriophages Using Continuous Stirred Tank Bioreactors Connected in Series to Ensure Optimum Host Bacteria Physiology for Phage Production. Viruses 2018, 10, 537.

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