A Novel System to Modulate the Composition of the Microbiome

Tech ID: TP-W-BI-006


A novel system to modulate the composition of the microbiome


A robust state-of-the-art method to manipulate 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

  • Alter a single bacterium within a microbiome – eliminate or modulate fitness
  • System works efficiently within bacterial biofilms with target and elimination with close to 100% efficiency
  • Allows to target bacteria with antibiotic resistance
  • Alter microbiome within a human or non-human microbiome
  • System may be administered topically, transdermally, sublingually, rectally, vaginally, ocularly, subcutaneous, intramuscularly, intraperitoneally, urethrally, intranasally, by inhalation or orally
  • Current system may also be administered directly to site of microbial infection
  • Treatment: for example, but not limited to – urinary tract infections, oral cavities, infections associated with implanted prosthetic devices, dental implants, or medical devices, skin infections

IP status

Provisional Filing


  • Partnership
  • Licensing
  • Development

External Resources

Publication in Nature Communications:

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:

Western News Article on CRISPR:

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