Medical Technology / Biomedical Engineering Technology Offers Page 8

RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd. posted this:

We have demonstrated a proof of principle for sensitization of a laboratory strain of E. coli to streptomycin and to nalidixic acid using a lambda phage as a gene delivery vehicle. The phage infects E. coli and transfers genes conferring dominant sensitivity to antibiotics (rpsL and gyrA). The infected bacteria are favored in the environmental settings due to the presence of a resistance gene to a disinfectant agent, tellurite, in the phage genome (1). Short term commercialization plans (2-3 years): • Show that the lambda phage is effectively lysogenizing bacteria on environmental surfaces, not only in solutions or petri dishes. • Adapt the lambda phage to an E. coli pathogenic host by repeated selection cycles. • Alternatively, transfer the sensitization cassette to another phage. • Test the efficiency of the delivery vehicle to enrich the drug-sensitive pathogen population in mice cages, which will be sprayed with pathogens, phages and tellurite to simulate hospital settings. • Test whether mice in treated cages vs. mice in untreated cages can be cured using antibiotics to which the pathogens are resistant. • Test efficiency of use in hospital settings (Dr. Daniel T. Laish, Director of ICU in a Florida-based hospital offered to carry out the research in their facilities). • Obtain an FDA license. Long term goals (3-6 years): • Obtain temperate phage specific for different pathogens (MRSA, VRE, etc.) from different collections, or isolate new temperate phages. • Genetically engineer to harbor the cassette encoding rpsL, gyrA (conferring dominant sensitivity), and tellurite-resistance (for selection). • Test the efficiency of the delivery vehicle to enrich the drug-sensitive pathogen population in mice cages, which will be sprayed with pathogens, phages and tellurite to simulate hospital settings. • Test whether mice in treated cages vs. mice in untreated cages can be cured using antibiotics to which the pathogens are resistant. • Obtain an FDA license. Project ID : 2-2012-282