The varying effects of a range of preservatives on Myoviridae and Siphoviridae bacteriophages formulated in a semi-solid cream preparation Academic Article uri icon


  • Bacteriophages may be formulated into semi-solid bases for therapeutic delivery. This work investigated the effects of a range of preservatives on the viability of Myoviridae and Siphoviridae bacteriophages when these were formulated into a standard semi-solid cream base. The six preservatives tested included: benzoic acid (0·1%), chlorocresol (0·1%), combination hydroxybenzoates (propyl 4-hydroxybenzoates with methyl 4-hydroxybenzoates) (0·1%), methyl 4-hydroxybenzoate (0·08%), 2-phenoxyethanol (1%) and propyl 4-hydroxybenzoate (0·02%). These were each formulated into cetomacrogol cream aqueous to generate six individual semi-solid bases into which Myoviridae and Siphoviridae bacteriophages were added and tested for stability. Optimal bacteriophage stability was seen when the preservative chlorocresol was used. Bacteriophage in the acidic benzoic acid were the least stable, resulting in complete loss of viability after 4-5 weeks. Of the bacteriophages tested, the Myoviridae KOX1 was significantly more stable than the Siphoviridae PAC1 after 91 days in formulations with each of the preservatives. Our results suggest the need for individual testing of specific bacteriophages in pharmaceutical formulations, as their efficacy when exposed to preservatives and excipients in these delivery forms may vary.

publication date

  • 2020