Chimeric Phage Nanoparticles for Rapid Characterization of Bacterial Pathogens: Detection in Complex Biological Samples and Determination of Antibiotic Sensitivity.
ABSTRACT: 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:Rapid, inexpensive, and sensitive detection of bacterial pathogens is an important goal for several aspects of human health and safety. We present a simple strategy for detecting a variety of bacterial species based on the interaction between bacterial cells and the viruses that infect them (phages). We engineer phage M13 to display the receptor-binding protein from a phage that naturally targets the desired bacteria. Thiolation of the engineered phages allows the binding of gold nanoparticles, which aggregate on the phages and act as a signal amplifier, resulting in a visible color change due to alteration of surface plasmon resonance properties. We demonstrate the detection of two strains of Escherichia coli, the human pathogens Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Vibrio cholerae, and two strains of the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris. The assay can detect ?100 cells with no cross-reactivity found among the Gram-negative bacterial species tested here. The assay can be performed in less than an hour and is robust to different media, including seawater and human serum. This strategy combines highly evolved biological materials with the optical properties of gold nanoparticles to achieve the simple, sensitive, and specific detection of bacterial species.
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:With escalating resistance to antibiotics, there is an urgent need to develop alternative therapies against bacterial pathogens and pests. One of the most promising is the employment of bacteriophages (phages), which may be highly specific and evolve to counter antiphage resistance. Despite an increased understanding of how phages interact with bacteria, we know very little about how their interactions may be modified in antibiotic environments and, reciprocally, how phage may affect the evolution of antibiotic resistance. We experimentally evaluated the impacts of single and combined applications of antibiotics (different doses and different types) and phages on in vitro evolving populations of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. We also assessed the effects of past treatments on bacterial virulence in vivo, employing larvae of Galleria mellonella to survey the treatment consequences for the pathogen. We find a strong synergistic effect of combining antibiotics and phages on bacterial population density and in limiting their recovery rate. Our long-term study establishes that antibiotic dose is important, but that effects are relatively insensitive to antibiotic type. From an applied perspective, our results indicate that phages can contribute to managing antibiotic resistance levels, with limited consequences for the evolution of bacterial virulence.
Project description:Temperate bacteriophages are a common feature of Pseudomonas aeruginosa genomes, but their role in chronic lung infections is poorly understood. This study was designed to identify the diverse communities of mobile P. aeruginosa phages by employing novel metagenomic methods, to determine cross infectivity, and to demonstrate the influence of phage infection on antimicrobial susceptibility. Mixed temperate phage populations were chemically mobilized from individual P. aeruginosa, isolated from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) or bronchiectasis (BR). The infectivity phenotype of each temperate phage lysate was evaluated by performing a cross-infection screen against all bacterial isolates and tested for associations with clinical variables. We utilized metagenomic sequencing data generated for each phage lysate and developed a novel bioinformatic approach allowing resolution of individual temperate phage genomes. Finally, we used a subset of the temperate phages to infect P. aeruginosa PAO1 and tested the resulting lysogens for their susceptibility to antibiotics. Here, we resolved 105 temperate phage genomes from 94 lysates that phylogenetically clustered into 8 groups. We observed disease-specific phage infectivity profiles and found that phages induced from bacteria isolated from more advanced disease infected broader ranges of P. aeruginosa isolates. Importantly, when infecting PAO1 in vitro with 20 different phages, 8 influenced antimicrobial susceptibility. This study shows that P. aeruginosa isolated from CF and BR patients harbors diverse communities of inducible phages, with hierarchical infectivity profiles that relate to the progression of the disease. Temperate phage infection altered the antimicrobial susceptibility of PAO1 at subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics, suggesting they may be precursory to antimicrobial resistance.IMPORTANCE Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a key opportunistic respiratory pathogen in patients with cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. The genomes of these pathogens are enriched with mobile genetic elements including diverse temperate phages. While the temperate phages of the Liverpool epidemic strain have been shown to be active in the human lung and enhance fitness in a rat lung infection model, little is known about their mobilization more broadly across P. aeruginosa in chronic respiratory infection. Using a novel metagenomic approach, we identified eight groups of temperate phages that were mobilized from 94 clinical P. aeruginosa isolates. Temperate phages from P. aeruginosa isolated from more advanced disease showed high infectivity rates across a wide range of P. aeruginosa genotypes. Furthermore, we showed that multiple phages altered the susceptibility of PAO1 to antibiotics at subinhibitory concentrations.
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:Nebulization is currently used for delivery of antibiotics for respiratory infections. Bacteriophages (or phages) are effective predators of pathogens including Pseudomonas aeruginosa commonly found in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). It is known that phages and antibiotics can potentially show synergistic antimicrobial effect on bacterial killing. In the present study, we investigated synergistic antimicrobial effect of phage PEV20 with five different antibiotics against three P. aeruginosa strains isolated from sputum of CF patients. The antibiotics included ciprofloxacin, tobramycin, colistin, aztreonam and amikacin, which are approved by U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for inhaled administration. Phage and antibiotic synergy was determined by assessing bacterial killing performing time-kill studies. Among the different phage-antibiotic combinations, PEV20 and ciprofloxacin exhibited the most synergistic effect. Two phage-ciprofloxacin combinations, containing 1/4 and 1/2 of the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of ciprofloxacin against P. aeruginosa strains FADD1-PA001 (A) and JIP865, respectively were aerosolized using both air-jet and vibrating mesh nebulizers and the synergistic antibacterial activity was maintained after nebulization. Air-jet nebulizer generated droplets with smaller volume median diameters (3.6-3.7?µm) and slightly larger span (2.3-2.4) than vibrating mesh nebulizers (5.1-5.3?µm; 2.1-2.2), achieving a higher fine particle fraction (FPF) of 70%. In conclusion, nebulized phage PEV20 and ciprofloxacin combination shows promising antimicrobial and aerosol characteristics for potential treatment of respiratory tract infections caused by drug-resistant P. aeruginosa.
Project description:Pf bacteriophage are temperate phages that infect the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a major cause of chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) and other settings. Pf and other temperate phages have evolved complex, mutualistic relationships with their bacterial hosts that impact both bacterial phenotypes and chronic infection. We and others have reported that Pf phages are a virulence factor that promote the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa infections in animal models and are associated with worse skin and lung infections in humans. Here we review the biology of Pf phage and what is known about its contributions to pathogenesis and clinical disease. First, we review the structure, genetics, and epidemiology of Pf phage. Next, we address the diverse and surprising ways that Pf phages contribute to P. aeruginosa phenotypes including effects on biofilm formation, antibiotic resistance, and motility. Then, we cover data indicating that Pf phages suppress mammalian immunity at sites of bacterial infection. Finally, we discuss recent literature implicating Pf in chronic P. aeruginosa infections in CF and other settings. Together, these reports suggest that Pf bacteriophage have direct effects on P. aeruginosa infections and that temperate phages are an exciting frontier in microbiology, immunology, and human health.
Project description:Rapid detection and phenotyping of pathogenic microbes is critical for administration of effective antibiotic therapies and for impeding the spread of antibiotic resistance. Here, we present a novel platform, rapid ultrasensitive detector (RUSD), that utilizes the high reflectance coefficient at high incidence angles when light travels from low- to high-refractive-index media. RUSD leverages a principle that does not require complex manufacturing, labeling, or processing steps. Utilizing RUSD, we can detect extremely low cell densities (optical density [OD] ? 5 × 10-7) that correspond to approximately 20 bacterial cells or a single fungal cell in the detection volume, which is nearly 4 orders of magnitude more sensitive than standard OD methods. RUSD can measure minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of commonly used antibiotics against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli, within 2 to 4 h. Here, we demonstrate that antibiotic susceptibility tests for several pathogens can rapidly be performed with RUSD using both small inoculum sizes (500 cells/mL) and larger inoculum sizes (5 × 105 cells/mL) used in standard antibiotic susceptibility tests. We anticipate that the RUSD system will be particularly useful for the cases in which antibiotic susceptibility tests have to be done with a limited number of bacterial cells that are available. Its compatibility with standard antibiotic susceptibility tests, simplicity, and low cost can make RUSD a viable and rapidly deployed diagnostic tool.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Extensive use of antibiotics has fostered the emergence of superbugs that are resistant to multidrugs, which becomes a great healthcare and public concern. Previous studies showed that quorum sensing signal DSF (diffusible signal factor) not only modulates bacterial antibiotic resistance through intraspecies signaling, but also affects bacterial antibiotic tolerance through interspecies communication. These findings motivate us to exploit the possibility of using DSF and its structurally related molecules as adjuvants to influence antibiotic susceptibility of bacterial pathogens. RESULTS: In this study, we have demonstrated that DSF signal and its structurally related molecules could be used to induce bacterial antibiotic susceptibility. Exogenous addition of DSF signal (cis-11-methyl-2-dodecenoic acid) and its structural analogues could significantly increase the antibiotic susceptibility of Bacillus cereus, possibly through reducing drug-resistant activity, biofilm formation and bacterial fitness. The synergistic effect of DSF and its structurally related molecules with antibiotics on B. cereus is dosage-dependent. Combination of DSF with gentamicin showed an obviously synergistic effect on B. cereus pathogenicity in an in vitro model. We also found that DSF could increase the antibiotic susceptibility of other bacterial species, including Bacillus thuringiensis, Staphylococcus aureus, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Neisseria subflava and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. CONCLUSION: The results indicate a promising potential of using DSF and its structurally related molecules as novel adjuvants to conventional antibiotics for treatment of infectious diseases caused by bacterial pathogens.
Project description: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.