Chase Beisel of North Carolina State University in the U.S. will exploit non-lytic bacteriophage for promoting infant gut health and treating enteric infections in low-resource settings. Generally, lytic phage are being studied for treating diseases, but they suffer from a number of limitations including causing resistance and the release of endotoxins, which can damage healthy cells. They will use the CRISPR-Cas9 defense system to engineer non-lytic P1 phage to specifically target the bacteria Shigella sonnei, which is a leading cause of enteric diseases in children in the developing world. The engineered phage, which can be produced at low cost, will be tested for ability to efficiently infect and kill the targeted bacteria.
More information about Addressing Newborn and Infant Gut Health Through Bacteriophage-Mediated Microbiome Engineering (Round 15)