SALT LAKE CITY -- The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a no objection letter for use of E. coli O157:H7-targeted bacteriophage manufactured by OmniLytics, Inc. applied as a mist, spray or wash on live animals prior to slaughter.

The bacteriophage (bacteria-eater) products will be used to reduce the level of E. coli contamination on the hides of livestock prior to further processing. Research has demonstrated the need to reduce the presence of E. coli on the hide as it has been shown that a high occurrence of E. coli on the hide greatly increases the risk of occurrence on the carcass. It is also envisioned that bacteriophage produced by OmniLytics will be used to treat holding areas, transportation vehicles, containers and living quarters.

"The USDA's approval of the use of phages as a hide wash continues to validate the broad uses of bacteriophage as a natural, safe and effective bacterial treatment," said Justin Reber, president and CEO of OmniLytics, the world's largest producer of bacteriophage. "Bacteriophage are Mother Nature's way of fighting bacteria with none of the harmful side effects of antibiotics and chemicals."

Bacteriophage target individual strains and species of bacteria. Unlike indiscriminant broad spectrum antibiotics, the specificity of bacteriophage allows targeting of harmful bacteria without compromising the viability of other beneficial microflora or fauna. Identified in 1917, bacteriophage or "bacteria eaters" are bacterial viruses that are environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and one of many families of viruses that have no effect on non-target organisms, plants, animals or humans. Bacteriophage are ubiquitous and exist in numbers rivaling even the most prevalent organisms on earth.

OmniLytics has been working with US regulatory agencies since 1994, and in addition to this most recent approval by the USDA, OmniLytics received the first US registration for a bacteriophage product for its AgriPhage product line in December of 2005. In August of 2006, the FDA also approved the use of bacteriophage as a food additive for the treatment of Lysteria in Ready-To-Eat ("RTE") meat and poultry products.

"Broad spectrum antibiotics, harsh chemicals and irradiation have created super bugs, pollutants, harmed field workers and have even lowered the quality of some food products without effectively controlling the harmful bacteria. We believe phages can succeed as a long-term solution for controlling unwanted bacteria where these old methods have failed," Reber said. "Another benefit of bacteriophage specificity is the opportunity to treat many types of contaminant-susceptible foods, on a continuous basis as a preventive measure, since there are no side effects."

The USDA's approval of OmniLytics' bacteriophage and the immediate availability of this product means that livestock processors may now begin to treat E. coli O157:H7 using the OmniLytics product.

OmniLytics is a bacteriophage company focused on developing safe, natural solutions for infectious disease control. With emphasis on bacteriophage technology, OmniLytics is pioneering research and development of bacteriophage solutions for pathogen control in the agricultural, food & water, industrial, pharmaceutical, and defense markets.

SOURCE: OmniLytics, Inc. via Business Wire.