Collaborative grant to Rutgers and Rep. of Georgia for salmonella research

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today announced a cooperative research anti-terrorism grant of $100,000 to a team of scientists from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and the former Soviet Republic of Georgia to work on the development of a treatment against drug-resistant salmonella bacteria. The grant comes from the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF).

The joint U.S.-Georgian team is headed by Konstantin Severinov, associate professor at Rutgers' Waksman Institute of Microbiology and Tarasi Gabisonia of the Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Microbiology and Virology, Republic of Georgia. According to the CRDF, the team aims to create a novel treatment that could be used against all bacterial pathogens that cause salmonella infection in humans.

"This joint partnership between Rutgers and the Republic of Georgia can lead to a breakthrough treatment in the fight against salmonella infection," Pallone said. "These scientists will work to prevent massive outbreaks of salmonella poisoning, a threat that must be taken seriously in this post 9-11 world."

According to Dr. Severinov, "salmonella bacteria belong to a category of food or waterborne pathogens that are fairly easy to disseminate and can cause serious illness and in some cases lead to death. Since the early 1990s, strains of salmonella bacteria that are resistant to a variety of antibiotics have appeared and are threatening to become a serious health problem."

"As a result, interest in the use of a bacteriophage - virus that infects bacteria - treatment as alternative to antibiotic treatments has increased. Our Georgian colleagues have a unique expertise in phage therapy," Dr. Severinov said." "Together, we intend to develop a bacteriophage treatment that could be an effective remedy against massive outbreaks of drug-resistant salmonella."

The grant is part of a series of awards that fall under

Contact: Andrew Souvall
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

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