Phage Therapy Is Effective in a Mouse Model of Bacterial Equine Keratitis.
ABSTRACT: Bacterial keratitis of the horse is mainly caused by staphylococci, streptococci, and pseudomonads. Of these bacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa sometimes causes rapid corneal corruption and, in some cases, blindness. Antimicrobial resistance can make treatment very difficult. Therefore, new strategies to control bacterial infection are required. A bacteriophage (phage) is a virus that specifically infects and kills bacteria. Since phage often can lyse antibiotic-resistant bacteria because the killing mechanism is different, we examined the use of phage to treat horse bacterial keratitis. We isolated Myoviridae or Podoviridae phages, which together have a broad host range. They adsorb efficiently to host bacteria; more than 80% of the ΦR18 phage were adsorbed to host cells after 30 s. In our keratitis mouse model, the administration of phage within 3 h also could kill bacteria and suppress keratitis. A phage multiplicity of infection of 100 times the host bacterial number could kill host bacteria effectively. A cocktail of two phages suppressed bacteria in the keratitis model mouse. These data demonstrated that the phages in this study could completely prevent the keratitis caused by P. aeruginosa in a keratitis mouse model. Furthermore, these results suggest that phage may be a more effective prophylaxis for horse keratitis than the current preventive use of antibiotics. Such treatment may reduce the use of antibiotics and therefore antibiotic resistance. Further studies are required to assess phage therapy as a candidate for treatment of horse keratitis.Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are emerging all over the world. Bacteriophages have great potential for resolution of this problem. A bacteriophage, or phage, is a virus that infects bacteria specifically. As a novel therapeutic strategy against racehorse keratitis caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we propose the application of phages for treatment. Phages isolated in this work had in vitro effectiveness for a broad range of P. aeruginosa strains. Indeed, a great reduction of bacterial proliferation was shown in phage therapy for mouse models of P. aeruginosa keratitis. Therefore, to reduce antibiotic usage, phage therapy should be investigated and developed further.
Project description:New therapies are necessary to combat increasingly antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. We have developed a technology platform of computational, molecular biology, and microbiology tools which together enable on-demand production of phages that target virtually any given bacterial isolate. Two complementary computational tools that identify and precisely map prophages and other integrative genetic elements in bacterial genomes are used to identify prophage-laden bacteria that are close relatives of the target strain. Phage genomes are engineered to disable lysogeny, through use of long amplicon PCR and Gibson assembly. Finally, the engineered phage genomes are introduced into host bacteria for phage production. As an initial demonstration, we used this approach to produce a phage cocktail against the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Two prophage-laden P. aeruginosa strains closely related to PAO1 were identified, ATCC 39324 and ATCC 27853. Deep sequencing revealed that mitomycin C treatment of these strains induced seven phages that grow on P. aeruginosa PAO1. The most diverse five phages were engineered for nonlysogeny by deleting the integrase gene (int), which is readily identifiable and typically conveniently located at one end of the prophage. The ?int phages, individually and in cocktails, killed P. aeruginosa PAO1 in liquid culture as well as in a waxworm (Galleria mellonella) model of infection.IMPORTANCE The antibiotic resistance crisis has led to renewed interest in phage therapy as an alternative means of treating infection. However, conventional methods for isolating pathogen-specific phage are slow, labor-intensive, and frequently unsuccessful. We have demonstrated that computationally identified prophages carried by near-neighbor bacteria can serve as starting material for production of engineered phages that kill the target pathogen. Our approach and technology platform offer new opportunity for rapid development of phage therapies against most, if not all, bacterial pathogens, a foundational advance for use of phage in treating infectious disease.
Project description:A rapid worldwide increase in the number of human infections caused by the extremely antibiotic resistant bacterium Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is prompting alarm. One potential treatment solution to the current antibiotic resistance dilemma is "phage therapy", the clinical application of bacteriophages to selectively kill bacteria.Towards that end, phages DLP1 and DLP2 (vB_SmaS-DLP_1 and vB_SmaS-DLP_2, respectively) were isolated against S. maltophilia strain D1585. Host range analysis for each phage was conducted using 27 clinical S. maltophilia isolates and 11 Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains. Both phages exhibit unusually broad host ranges capable of infecting bacteria across taxonomic orders. Transmission electron microscopy of the phage DLP1 and DLP2 morphology reveals that they belong to the Siphoviridae family of bacteriophages. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and complete genome sequencing and analysis indicates that phages DLP1 and DLP2 are closely related but different phages, sharing 96.7 % identity over 97.2 % of their genomes. These two phages are also related to P. aeruginosa phages vB_Pae-Kakheti_25 (PA25), PA73, and vB_PaeS_SCH_Ab26 (Ab26) and more distantly related to Burkholderia cepacia complex phage KL1, which together make up a taxonomic sub-family. Phages DLP1 and DLP2 exhibited significant differences in host ranges and growth kinetics.The isolation and characterization of phages able to infect two completely different species of bacteria is an exciting discovery, as phages typically can only infect related bacterial species, and rarely infect bacteria across taxonomic families, let alone across taxonomic orders.
Project description:The therapeutic effects of bacteriophage (phage) KPP12 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis were investigated in mice. Morphological analysis showed that phage KPP12 is a member of the family Myoviridae, morphotype A1, and DNA sequence analysis revealed that phage KPP12 is similar to PB1-like viruses. Analysis of the phage KPP12 genome did not identify any genes related to drug resistance, pathogenicity or lysogenicity, and so phage KPP12 may be a good candidate for therapeutic. KPP12 showed a broad host range for P. aeruginosa strains isolated from clinical ophthalmic infections. Inoculation of the scarified cornea with P. aeruginosa caused severe keratitis and eventual corneal perforation. Subsequent single-dose administration of KPP12 eye-drops significantly improved disease outcome, and preserved the structural integrity and transparency of the infected cornea. KPP12 treatment resulted in the suppression of neutrophil infiltration and greatly enhanced bacterial clearance in the infected cornea. These results indicate that bacteriophage eye-drops may be a novel adjunctive or alternative therapeutic agent for the treatment of infectious keratitis secondary to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a pathogen frequently identified as the cause of diverse infections or chronic disease. This microbe has natural resistance to several kinds of antibiotics, because of the species' outer membrane, efflux pumps and growth as a biofilm. This bacterium can acquire increased resistance with specific point mutations. Bacteriophage (phage), however, can lyse these bacteria. Therefore, in the present study, we assessed the host range of phages isolates and their ability to lyse antibiotic-resistant P. aeruginosa. Present phages could lyse many strains of P. aeruginosa (28/39), including strains with high resistance to fluoroquinolones (4/6). In conclusion, application of phages for antibiotic-resistant bacteria is greatly effective. To avoid pervasive antibiotic-resistant bacteria, further development of phage usage for disease treatment is required.
Project description:The rapid rise of antibiotic resistance has renewed interest in phage therapy - the use of bacteria-specific viruses (phages) to treat bacterial infections. Even though phages are often pathogen-specific, little is known about the efficiency and eco-evolutionary outcomes of phage therapy in polymicrobial infections. We studied this experimentally by exposing both quorum-sensing (QS) signalling PAO1 and QS-deficient lasR Pseudomonas aeruginosa genotypes (differing in their ability to signal intraspecifically) to lytic PT7 phage in the presence and absence of two bacterial competitors: Staphylococcus aureus and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia-two bacteria commonly associated with P. aeruginosa in polymicrobial cystic fibrosis lung infections. Both the P. aeruginosa genotype and the presence of competitors had profound effects on bacteria and phage densities and bacterial resistance evolution. In general, competition reduced the P. aeruginosa frequencies leading to a lower rate of resistance evolution. This effect was clearer with QS signalling PAO1 strain due to lower bacteria and phage densities and relatively larger pleiotropic growth cost imposed by both phages and competitors. Unexpectedly, phage selection decreased the total bacterial densities in the QS-deficient lasR pathogen communities, while an increase was observed in the QS signalling PAO1 pathogen communities. Together these results suggest that bacterial competition can shape the eco-evolutionary outcomes of phage therapy.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The human intestine harbors diverse communities of bacteria and bacteriophages. Given the specificity of phages for their bacterial hosts, there is growing interest in using phage therapies to combat the rising incidence of multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. A significant barrier to such therapies is the rapid development of phage-resistant bacteria, highlighting the need to understand how bacteria acquire phage resistance in vivo Here we identify novel lytic phages in municipal raw sewage that kill Enterococcus faecalis, a Gram-positive opportunistic pathogen that resides in the human intestine. We show that phage infection of E. faecalis requires a predicted integral membrane protein that we have named PIPEF (for phage infection protein from E. faecalis). We find that PIPEF is conserved in E. faecalis and harbors a 160-amino-acid hypervariable region that determines phage tropism for distinct enterococcal strains. Finally, we use a gnotobiotic mouse model of in vivo phage predation to show that the sewage phages temporarily reduce E. faecalis colonization of the intestine but that E. faecalis acquires phage resistance through mutations in PIPEF Our findings define the molecular basis for an evolutionary arms race between E. faecalis and the lytic phages that prey on them. They also suggest approaches for engineering E. faecalis phages that have altered host specificity and that can subvert phage resistance in the host bacteria. IMPORTANCE:Bacteriophage therapy has received renewed attention as a potential solution to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. However, bacteria can acquire phage resistance, posing a major barrier to phage therapy. To overcome this problem, it is necessary to understand phage resistance mechanisms in bacteria. We have unraveled one such resistance mechanism in Enterococcus faecalis, a Gram-positive natural resident of the human intestine that has acquired antibiotic resistance and can cause opportunistic infections. We have identified a cell wall protein hypervariable region that specifies phage tropism in E. faecalis Using a gnotobiotic mouse model of in vivo phage predation, we show that E. faecalis acquires phage resistance through mutations in this cell wall protein. Our findings define the molecular basis for lytic phage resistance in E. faecalis They also suggest opportunities for engineering E. faecalis phages that circumvent the problem of bacterial phage resistance.
Project description:The viruses that infect bacteria, known as phages, play a critical role in controlling bacterial populations in many diverse environments, including the human body. This control stems not only from phages killing bacteria but also from the formation of lysogens. In this state, the phage replication cycle is suppressed, and the phage genome is maintained in the bacterial cell in a form known as a prophage. Prophages often carry genes that benefit the host bacterial cell, since increasing the survival of the host cell by extension also increases the fitness of the prophage. These highly diverse and beneficial phage genes, which are not required for the life cycle of the phage itself, have been referred to as "morons," as their presence adds "more on" the phage genome in which they are found. While individual phage morons have been shown to contribute to bacterial virulence by a number of different mechanisms, there have been no systematic investigations of their activities. Using a library of phages that infect two different clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa, PAO1 and PA14, we compared the phenotypes imparted by the expression of individual phage morons. We identified morons that inhibit twitching and swimming motilities and observed an inhibition of the production of virulence factors such as rhamnolipids and elastase. This study demonstrates the scope of phage-mediated phenotypic changes and provides a framework for future studies of phage morons.IMPORTANCE Environmental and clinical isolates of the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa frequently contain viruses known as prophages. These prophages can alter the virulence of their bacterial hosts through the expression of nonessential genes known as "morons." In this study, we identified morons in a group of Pseudomonas aeruginosa phages and characterized the effects of their expression on bacterial behaviors. We found that many morons confer selective advantages for the bacterial host, some of which correlate with increased bacterial virulence. This work highlights the symbiotic relationship between bacteria and prophages and illustrates how phage morons can help bacteria adapt to different selective pressures and contribute to human diseases.
Project description:Increasing prevalence and severity of multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections has necessitated novel antibacterial strategies. Ideally, new approaches would target bacterial pathogens while exerting selection for reduced pathogenesis when these bacteria inevitably evolve resistance to therapeutic intervention. As an example of such a management strategy, we isolated a lytic bacteriophage, OMKO1, (family Myoviridae) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa that utilizes the outer membrane porin M (OprM) of the multidrug efflux systems MexAB and MexXY as a receptor-binding site. Results show that phage selection produces an evolutionary trade-off in MDR P. aeruginosa, whereby the evolution of bacterial resistance to phage attack changes the efflux pump mechanism, causing increased sensitivity to drugs from several antibiotic classes. Although modern phage therapy is still in its infancy, we conclude that phages, such as OMKO1, represent a new approach to phage therapy where bacteriophages exert selection for MDR bacteria to become increasingly sensitive to traditional antibiotics. This approach, using phages as targeted antibacterials, could extend the lifetime of our current antibiotics and potentially reduce the incidence of antibiotic resistant infections.
Project description:Rapid, specific, and sensitive detection of pathogenic bacteria in drink, food, and clinical samples is an important goal for public health. In addition, rapid characterization of antibiotic susceptibility could inform clinical choices and improve antibiotic stewardship. We previously reported a straightforward, inexpensive strategy to detect Gram-negative bacterial pathogens, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio cholerae, and Escherichia coli, taking advantage of the high affinity and specificity of phages for their bacterial hosts. Chimeric phages targeted different bacterial pathogens, and thiolation of the phages induced aggregation of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), leading to a visible colorimetric response in the presence of at least ?100 cells of the target bacteria. Here, we apply this strategy to complex biological samples (milk, urine, and swabs from a porcine ex vivo model of P. aeruginosa infection). We also show that this assay can be used to identify the antibiotic susceptibility profile based on detection of bacterial growth in the presence of different antibiotics. The prospect for using phage-conjugated AuNPs to detect bacterial pathogens in clinical samples and guide antibiotic choice is discussed.
Project description:The rapid increase in the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has attracted attention to bacteriophages for treating and preventing bacterial infections. Bacteriophages can drive the diversification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, giving rise to phage-resistant variants with different phenotypes from their ancestral hosts. In this study, we sought to investigate the effect of phage resistance on cytotoxicity of host populations toward cultured mammalian cells. The library of phage-resistant P. aeruginosa PAO1 variants used was developed previously via experimental evolution of an isogenic host population using phages PP7 and E79. Our results presented herein indicate that the phage-resistant variants developed in a heterogeneous phage environment exhibit a greater ability to impede metabolic action of cultured human keratinocytes and have a greater tendency to cause membrane damage even though they cannot invade the cells in large numbers. They also show a heightened resistance to phagocytosis by model murine macrophages. Furthermore, all isolates produced higher levels of at least one of the secreted virulence factors, namely, total proteases, elastase, phospholipase C, and hemolysins. Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) revealed upregulation in the transcription of a number of genes associated with virulence of P. aeruginosa for the phage-resistant variants. The results of this study indicate a significant change in the in vitro virulence of P. aeruginosa following phage predation and highlight the need for caution in the selection and design of phages and phage cocktails for therapeutic use.