Reversal of Virulence of Pathogenic E. Coli
Reza Nokhbeh from the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada in Canada will genetically engineer phage that infect pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria to express proteins and short RNA molecules that block multiple bacterial functions and thereby stop it from colonizing the human gut and causing disease. Diarrheal diseases cause substantial mortality in children under five in developing countries, and there is an urgent need for new treatments. They will develop their approach to first target E. coli O157:H7 by incorporating genes and RNAs into the phage that promote bacterial cell death, slow growth, and block its ability to produce toxins and attach to host cells. The resultant phage will be tested in a mouse model of the infection.