Antimicrobial strategies: bacteriophage studies
Since 2016 the group have embarked on a programme of bacteriophage isolation targetting a range of MDR Enterococcus spp.
These widespread bacteria are involved in a range of infections, including recalcitrant oral root canal infections (E. faecalis) as well as a range of hard to treat Diabetic Foot Ulcer wounds the most prominent (E. faecalis and faecium).
Our initial studies isolated a range of novel phage that we are currently expanding with a view to producing a DFU phage cocktail while also extending the programme into other DFU causing pathogens (in collaboration with Dr David Partridge).
Using a novel Tooth-slice model we proved the ability of our phage to clear biofilm but have also utilised a 3D-skin infection developed by Dr Joey Shepherd to prove their efficacy in a tissue model.
Using nanopore technology we are currently sequencing our isolated phage with a particular focus on tail-spike proteins with a view to characterisation of cell wall binding proteins and novel antimicrobial enzymes.
Our first paper in this field was published in 2019, and included work from the PhD of Mohammed Al-Zubidi as well as from a collaboration with Dr Stephane Mesnage that identified the target of our phage as the EPA capsule of E. faecalis.