Strategy for Development of Enteric Pathogen-Specific Phage
David Low from the University of California, Santa Barbara in the U.S. will engineer phage to selectively target and destroy several pathogenic bacteria to prevent enteric diseases in infants. Lytic phage infect bacteria and hold great promise as therapeutics for infectious diseases, but controlling their activity and preventing the development of bacterial resistance is challenging. They will engineer different versions of the T2 lytic bacteriophage that bind multiple different regions of the BamA protein found on the surface of several pathogenic bacteria, which will ensure they only infect these target bacteria. And, as the BamA protein is essential for bacteria survival, it is unlikely that it will be mutated to cause resistance. They will test the different phage for capacity to kill pathogenic E. coli and Shigella, and whether they cause resistance.