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Pathology and Microbiology

The Post-Antibiotic World

How could a miracle drug cause a health crisis to sweep the globe nearly a hundred years after its introduction? While penicillin can be credited with saving 200 million lives since its widespread adoption in World War II, antibiotics also forced bacteria to evolve into superbugs just to survive. As antibiotic-resistant bacteria become more prevalent, antibiotics will not be able to prevent the 10M deaths due to superbug infections that are estimated to occur each year after 2050. But viruses that attack bacteria can. Learn more below.

Phage - Antibiotic Synergy

The emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) has necessitated the development of alternative therapies to deal with this global threat. Bacteriophages (viruses that target bacteria) that kill ARB are one such alternative. Some phages may work cooperatively with antibiotics to eradicate ARB, as often determined using non-standardized broth assays. We sought to develop a solid media-based assay to assess cooperativity between antibiotics and phages to offer a standardized platform for such testing. We modeled the interactions that occur between antibiotics and phages on solid medium to measure additive, antagonistic, and synergistic interactions.  Solid media assays for the detection of cooperative interactions between antibiotics and phages can be an accessible technique adopted by clinical laboratories to evaluate antibiotic and phage choices in phage therapy.

Learn more in our publication submitted to the Journal of Clinical Microbiology:
Khong E, ..., Rhoads A, ..., Pride DT. A simple solid media assay for detection of synergy between bacteriophages and antibiotics. bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2023 Aug 24:2023.08.23.554535. doi: 10.1101/2023.08.23.554535. PMID: 37662290; PMCID: PMC10473724.

Phage Hunting 

At the Center for Innovative Phage Application and Therapeutics (IPATH) we discover bacteriophages to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections. During my time at the Pride Lab, I discovered five potentially unique bacteriophages and co-discovered four potentially unique phages.

See the process in the video below!

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