|Headquarters||Baltimore, Maryland, USA|
Intralytix is a biotechnology company based in Baltimore, Maryland. Intralytix specializes in bacteriophage-based products used to control bacterial pathogens in environmental, food processing, and medical settings.
Listeriosis is a serious disease with a high rate of mortality in susceptible individuals. It is almost exclusively contracted by consuming contaminated food. Since the L. monocytogenes bacteria are omnipresent in nature, even the most thorough hygiene concepts fail to guarantee that food products are free of listeria.
Bacteriophages are among the best studied organisms in the natural world. This is because their molecular biology is relatively simple. Many molecular principles were first studied in bacteriophages prior to being found in higher organisms. Bacteriophages are ubiquitous. High numbers can be found in seawater and also in fermented foods such as yogurt or cheese. Bacteriophages are extremely specific in the bacteria they recognize. The recognition is often limited to specific strains of one species, in rare cases several strains of the same species or genus are recognized. With this fact in mind their potential in fighting unwanted bacteria has recently received increased attention.
FDA and EPA Approval
In August 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Intralytix's ListShield for direct application on foods. It was also awarded Environmental Protection Agency approval for environmental uses, as a method decontaminating non-food contact surfaces in food processing facilities. Intralytix was the first company to receive approval from the FDA and USDA for a bacteriophage based product for food-safety applications.
This mixture is sprayed on food or surfaces related to food production. If listeria is present in the food, the bacteria will be infected by the bacteriophages. This results in replication inside the bacteria, ultimately ending in the bacteria being killed. It does not alter the general composition, taste, aroma, or color of foods. Field trials demonstrated the solution to be 100% effective in the elimination of Listeria monocytogenes".
- Daniells, Stephen "FDA approves viruses as food additive for meats" http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com 23 August 2006
- Byrne, Jane "EPA approved antimicrobial could control listeria in food plants" http://www.foodqualitynews.com 01 July 2008
- Federal Register: August 18, 2006 Volume 71, Number 160, pages 47729-47732 http://frwebgate6.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/TEXTgate.cgi?WAISdocID=467022320454+0+1+0&WAISaction=retrieve
- Intralytix website.
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