Bacteriophage targeting microbiota alleviates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease induced by high alcohol-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae

Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 3;14(1):3215. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-39028-w.


Our previous studies have shown that high alcohol-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (HiAlc Kpn) in the intestinal microbiome could be one of the causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Considering antimicrobial resistance of K. pneumoniae and dysbacteriosis caused by antibiotics, phage therapy might have potential in treatment of HiAlc Kpn-induced NAFLD, because of the specificity targeting the bacteria. Here, we clarified the effectiveness of phage therapy in male mice with HiAlc Kpn-induced steatohepatitis. Comprehensive investigations including transcriptomes and metabolomes revealed that treatment with HiAlc Kpn-specific phage was able to alleviate steatohepatitis caused by HiAlc Kpn, including hepatic dysfunction and expression of cytokines and lipogenic genes. In contrast, such treatment did not cause significantly pathological changes, either in functions of liver and kidney, or in components of gut microbiota. In addition to reducing alcohol attack, phage therapy also regulated inflammation, and lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Our data suggest that phage therapy targeting gut microbiota is an alternative to antibiotics, with potential efficacy and safety, at least in HiAlc Kpn-caused NAFLD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteriophages*
  • Ethanol / metabolism
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / genetics
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microbiota*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / metabolism


  • Ethanol
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents