Navigation Links
MIT, BU team combats antibiotic resistance with engineered viruses
Date:3/2/2009

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--A new approach to fighting bacterial infections, developed at MIT and Boston University, could help prevent bacteria from developing antibiotic resistance and help kill those that have already become resistant.

Researchers from both schools have engineered a virus that knocks out bacterial defense systems, enhancing the effectiveness of antibiotics. The work is reported in the March 2 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose a serious and growing health risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, causes approximately 94,000 infections and contributes to 19,000 deaths annually in the United States, through contact that can occur in a variety of locations, including schools, hospitals and homes.

New drugs are needed to combat these superbugs, but very few new antibiotics have been developed in the past few decades. "There are a lot of targets to go after, but people haven't been able to find the drugs," said Timothy Lu, lead author of the paper and an MD candidate in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST).

Lu and James Collins, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of biomedical engineering at BU, took a new approach: engineering existing bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) to attack specific targets. "It's much easier to modify phages than to invent a new drug," said Lu.

Lu, who completed his PhD at HST last year, won the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize and the grand prize in the National Collegiate Inventors Competition in 2008 for his work with engineered bacteriophages.

The engineered viruses described in the PNAS paper attack the SOS system, a bacterial DNA repair system enlisted when bacteria are exposed to antibiotics that damage DNA, and other gene networks. Used in conjunction with traditional antibiotics, the viruses undermine bacterial defense systems and prevent resistance from developing.

The researchers tested their phages with three major classes of antibiotics (quinolones, beta-lactams and aminoglyclosides) and had good results with all three. In mice infected with bacteria, those treated with both engineered bacteriophage and antibiotics had an 80 percent survival rate, compared with 50 percent for mice treated with natural bacteriophages and antibiotics, 20 percent for mice treated only with antibiotics, and 10 percent for untreated mice.

"This work lays the groundwork for the development of a library of bacteriophages, each designed to attack different bacterial targets," said Lu.

In 2007, Lu and Collins demonstrated the successful creation of an engineered virus that could attack and destroy surface "biofilms" of harmful bacteria that can form on industrial and medical devices. Such viruses could be used in food processing plants, hospitals or other settings where dangerous bacteria can accumulate.


'/>"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Quick microchip test for dangerous antibiotic resistant bacteria
2. New Licence for Cubicin(R) (daptomycin), the First in a Novel Class of Antibiotic, is Announced Today for the Treatment of Serious Bloodstream and Heart Infections Caused by the Most Problematic UK Organisms, Including MRSA
3. Arpida Invited to Present Preclinical Data on Novel Topical Antibiotic AR-2474 at ICAAC
4. GlaxoSmithKline and Anacor Pharmaceuticals Form Alliance to Develop Systemic Antivirals and Antibiotics Based on Boron Chemistry
5. Drugs from Johnson & Johnson/Basilea and Forest Are the Most Promising Antibiotics in the Community-Acquired Pneumonia Pipeline
6. Rib-X Pharmaceuticals Initiates Two Phase 2 Studies for Novel Antibiotic Compound RX-1741
7. Solving the Z rings mysteries may lead to new antibiotics
8. Paratek Pharmaceuticals Completes $40 Million Private Placement to Finance Clinical Programs Including Oral Antibiotic to Combat MRSA and Other Infections
9. Skin & Aging Article Finds Derma Sciences MEDIHONEY(TM) Helps to Promote Healing Where Antibiotics Fail
10. Nektar Receives Patent Covering Pulmonary Targeted Antibiotics
11. Number of Patients Treated with an Antibiotic for MRSA Within U.S. Acute Care Hospitals Increased 8 Percent from 2006 to 2007
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Advanced Polymer Monitoring Technologies (APMT), a ... “Sig” Floyd as Vice President ? Global Business Development. Dr. Floyd will lead ... Floyd’s career has spanned 30 years in the chemicals and equipment industries. Sig ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 22, 2017  UBM and the Massachusetts Medical ... extended partnership and the third annual Massachusetts Medtech Week. ... 21 st Annual MassMEDIC Conference held in ... 3-4, 2017. MassMEDIC will feature ... President and CEO, Scott Whitaker , at ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... March 22, 2017 The global ... a research report by Transparency Market Research (TMR). The ... Inc., and AbbVie Inc., accounted for a share of ... players in this market are focusing aggressively on mergers, ... which is likely to lead to market consolidation in ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017   VWR (NASDAQ: VWR), ... and service solutions to laboratory and production ... EPL Archives, Inc., an international biorepository services ... regulated product research, development and commercialization lifecycle ... ancillary services. EPL Archives is widely recognized ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/21/2017)... -- Der weltweite Biobanking-Sektor wird bis zum ... mit mehr als 50 Vertretern aus verschiedenen Branchen wurde aber ... diese Prognose zu realisieren. ... Zu den Schwierigkeiten für ... für die Biobank, die Implementierung Zeit sparender Technologien, ein ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- ... platform that is designed to enhance fraud detection ... release in the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence ... organizations to leverage additional insights from internal and ... to better protect their customers from targeted cybercrime ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... The biomass boiler market report by Transparency Market Research ... in terms of revenue (US$ Mn) based on the ... boilers has been segmented on the basis of feedstock ... based on feedstock type, has been segmented into woody ... urban residues, and others. On the basis of product ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):