Jason Gill of Texas A&M AgriLife Research in the U.S. will develop an animal model for environmental enteropathy, which is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gut prevalent in children from low-income countries, to test new bacteriophage-based treatments. Bacteriophage (phage) are viruses that infect and can kill bacteria, and can therefore be used to treat bacterial diseases. They will develop a chronic disease model by infecting weaned piglets with low doses of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, which is likely involved in environmental enteropathy development in humans. They will also search for a combination of different phage types that can infect and destroy this bacterial strain and effectively cure the disease in their animal model.
More information about Addressing Newborn and Infant Gut Health Through Bacteriophage-Mediated Microbiome Engineering (Round 15)