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Bacteriophage Encapsulation in pH-Responsive Core-Shell Capsules as an Animal Feed Additive

Department of Chemical Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Chao-Nan Lin
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 1131; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061131
Received: 23 May 2021 / Revised: 8 June 2021 / Accepted: 10 June 2021 / Published: 11 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Veterinary Infectious Diseases)
Increasing antibiotic resistance in bacteria that cause zoonotic infections is a major problem for farmers rearing animals for food as well as for consumers who eat the contaminated meat resulting in food-borne infections. Bacteriophages incorporated in animal feed may help reduce carriage and infections in animals including chickens and pigs. There are, however, unmet challenges in protecting phages from processing stresses e.g., during animal feed pelleting operations and during transit of phages through the acidic gastric environment. Core-shell capsules were produced using a concentric nozzle and commercially available encapsulation equipment to fabricate capsules with phages formulated in an oil-in-water microemulsion in the core. pH-responsive capsules released the encapsulated phage cargo within 10–30 min triggered by changes in local environmental pH typically found in the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract of animals. Acid stability of phages exposed to pH values as low as pH 1 was demonstrated. Encapsulated phages were able to withstand exposure to 95 °C wet heat thermal stress for up to 120 s, conditions typically encountered during feed pellet extrusion processing. Free phages were inactivated within 15 s under these conditions. The present study demonstrates that encapsulation of bacteriophages in core-shell pH-responsive capsules with water-in-oil emulsified phages in the core significantly improves phage viability upon exposure to processing and environmental stresses that require consideration during production of animal feed and application in animals for biocontrol. The results from this study should help guide future development of phage formulations suitable for use in animal feed for animal biocontrol applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibiotic resistance; animal feed; bacteriophages; biocontrol; controlled release; core-shell capsules; microbiome engineering antibiotic resistance; animal feed; bacteriophages; biocontrol; controlled release; core-shell capsules; microbiome engineering
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MDPI and ACS Style

Richards, K.; Malik, D.J. Bacteriophage Encapsulation in pH-Responsive Core-Shell Capsules as an Animal Feed Additive. Viruses 2021, 13, 1131. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061131

AMA Style

Richards K, Malik DJ. Bacteriophage Encapsulation in pH-Responsive Core-Shell Capsules as an Animal Feed Additive. Viruses. 2021; 13(6):1131. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061131

Chicago/Turabian Style

Richards, Kerry, and Danish J. Malik 2021. "Bacteriophage Encapsulation in pH-Responsive Core-Shell Capsules as an Animal Feed Additive" Viruses 13, no. 6: 1131. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061131

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