Friday, 19 March 2021

Customized targeting of bacteria using lysins


 

Scientists have developed a method to produce customisable engineered lysins that can be used to selectively kill bacteria of interest while leaving others unharmed. The discovery presents a promising alternative to antibiotics for treating existing drug-resistant bacteria and bacterial infections without the risk of causing resistance.

Lysins are enzymes produced by bacteriophages to break open the bacteria cells while treating infections, and have demonstrated potential as a novel class of antimicrobials. A major advantage of lysins is that they allow fast and targeted killing against specific bacterium of choice without inducing resistance.

The emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria has left even minor bacterial infections incurable by many existing antibiotics, with at least 700,000 deaths each year due to drug-resistant diseases according to the World Health Organisation.

The study reveals how SMART's engineered lysins were able to selectively kill bacteria like Staphylococci, Enterococcus faecalis, while leaving the Enterococcus faecium bacteria of the same genus unharmed. This is the first report of a chimeric lysin that can both target bacteria of multiple genera as well as selectively kill one bacterial species within a genus over another. 

Since lysins are essentially proteins, they can be engineered and mass produced...

See:

 Hana Sakina Binte Muhammad Jai, Linh Chi Dam, Lowella Servito Tay, Jodi Jia Wei Koh, Hooi Linn Loo, Kimberly A. Kline, Boon Chong Goh. Engineered Lysins With Customized Lytic Activities Against Enterococci and Staphylococci. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2020; 11 DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.574739

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

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