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Combatting foodborne bacteria in Nigeria

December 31, 2019

Dr. Lawan Kabiru participated in our Phage Workshop in Ghana this past July, which was our 1st Workshop in West Africa. Now he is back home in Nigeria teaching a team of scientists how to isolate phages to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria that commonly contaminate food, such as Salmonella and E. coli.


Several years ago Dr. Lawan completed his PhD research on a dangerous subclass of toxin-producing E. coli that have a high frequency of antibiotic resistance. Even before hearing about our laboratory training workshops, he wanted to use phages against this type of E. coli in Nigeria — but he did not know how. Since attending our Phage Workshop, he is now able to move forward with that work.


Dr. Lawan and one of his students collecting environmental samples from which to isolate phages.

That green pond behind them undoubtedly contains many phages!

Other participants from our West Africa Workshop have also been busy applying phage research in their home communities. During July we trained a total of 18 participants who came from 6 different countries. Just 3 months after the Workshop they had already:

  • Initiated 11 new phage projects

  • Begun teaching phage biology at 8 institutions

  • Submitted 8 grant applications to support their phage research


This demonstrates how quickly phage research can be applied!

During this last day of 2019, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us train more scientists in both Africa and Asia.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Tobi Nagel, PhD - President
Karen Erickson - Treasurer
James B. Lin - Secretary

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