Western Research Park

A novel system to modulate the composition of the microbiome


Microbial ecosystems are essential for human health and proper development, and disturbances of the ecosystem correlate with a multitude of diseases. A central problem is the lack of tools to selectively control pathogenic species that cause disease or to otherwise alter or transform the composition of the human or non-human microbiome.

Technology Overview

Researchers at Western University have developed a novel state-of-the-art system in combination with enhancements to current gene-editing technology to modulate the microbiome. Traditional methods which include antibiotics, phage-based therapy, probiotics, and prebiotics are challenged with limitations and exhibit disadvantages. Using the current technology enables one to modulate the microbiome, to eliminate or alter fitness for a bacterium within a biofilm (hard to reach areas) with close to 100% efficiency.

Benefits and Applications

IP status

Provisional Filing


External Resources

Publication in Nature Communications: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12448-3

Hamilton, T.A., Pellegrino, G.M., Therrien, J.A., Ham, D.T., Bartlett, P.C., Karas, B.J., Gloor, G.B. and Edgell, D.R. (2019) Efficient inter-species conjugative transfer of a CRISPR nuclease for targeted bacterial killing. Nature Communications 10: 4544

Western News Article on Technology: https://news.westernu.ca/2019/10/work-explores-next-gen-antimicrobial-agents/

Western News Article on CRISPR: https://news.westernu.ca/2019/10/edgell-precision-needed-to-live-up-to-promise/


Originally published by WORLDiscoveries.