Bacteriophage (“Phage”) is a virus that can infect and kill bacteria. Because of this ability, phage is now being considered as an alternative to antibiotics that fail to treat infections caused by multi-drug resistant pathogens. Compared to antibiotics, however, bacteriophages are often limited in their range of host. Engineered recombinant bacteriophages have a wider spectrum of host, but often lose sensitivity to their parental host. These limitations on phage host selectivity are primarily due to lack of
diversity in the phage tail-fiber components.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) (Laboratory of Molecular Biology) have engineered a single recombinant phage with dual tail fibers that can target and kill bacteria of different genera. Specifically, the inventors isolated a recombinant T7 phage that encodes two tail genes, one of wild type T7 tail fiber and another of chimeric origin that can recognize a second type of bacteria. Because the phage have two distinct tail regions, they can potentially overcome the clinical use limitations of other current engineered phage.
- Development of safe phage to combat emerging drug-resistant bacteria
- Development of polyvalent phages that are more effective in eradication of biofilms, by incorporating biofilm-dispersing enzymes as a part of the phage tail fibers
- Effective against a wider range of hosts, due to diversity of tail components
- Drug-resistant bacteria remain susceptible to elimination by these phage
Sankar Adhya Ph.D. (NCI), Manoj Rajaure Ph.D. (NCI)
- U.S. Provisional: U.S. Provisional Patent Application Number 62/512,608 , Filed 15 May 2017