The application of bacteriophages in the African AgriFood sector

  09 April 2024

Innovate UK produced this research as a component of AgriFood Africa Connect, which unites entrepreneurs in the Africa and the UK will tackle African agri-food concerns.

AgriFood Africa Connect is a component of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) AgriFood Africa program, which is run by Innovate UK with funding from the GCRF. It seeks to create sustainable AgriFood system management in Africa, reducing poverty and promoting economic prosperity and well-being throughout the continent.

Phages are naturally occurring viruses that target and infect bacteria by attaching to specific receptors, injecting genetic material, and replicating virions. This precision allows them to target pathogenic bacteria while minimizing disruption to the environment’s microbiota. Phages have shown promise in penetrating and disrupting bacterial biofilms, which can be resistant to traditional antibiotics. This could be relevant in AgriFood, food processing plants, livestock health, and crop infections. Phages’ adaptability allows them to evolve alongside their hosts, even if bacteria develop resistance. They are generally considered safe for use in food products and have consistently demonstrated safety and low toxicity in human clinical trials.

Further reading: Innovate UK
Author(s): Innovate UK
Secure Foods  


Unrestricted financial support by:


Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition

Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre



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