RNA Phage-Mediated Microbiome Engineering
David Wang of Washington University in St. Louis in the U.S. will evaluate specific RNA bacteriophage (viruses that infect bacteria) as therapeutics to modulate the bacterial communities in inflammatory conditions such as environmental enteropathy. To date, only DNA phage have been explored as therapeutics despite RNA phage being able to kill a broader range of bacteria. They will test the effect of two prototypical RNA phage on the gut microbe population in a mouse model of intestinal inflammation. They will also use stool samples from children with environmental enteropathy to identify novel resistance genes that block the bactericidal effect of the RNA phage, which will help gauge their value as potential therapeutics.