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A Novel Screen for Biofilm Inhibitors in Animals

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Technical Report,15 Feb 2019,14 Feb 2020

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Michigan State University East Lansing United States

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Over 37,000 military personnel have been wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Other than the wound itself, the greatest threat to these personnel is infection, which strikes one in three wounded individuals during initial hospitalization. Although antibiotics are crucial tools in the treatment of the wounded, microbial pathogens form communities known as biofilms that resist antibiotics, and greatly complicate the treatment of wounds. In addition to threatening the lives of the wounded, biofilms increase hospitalization times and delay return to duty. Biofilms also attack orthopedic and other implants, as well as catheters. Thus, the Department of Defense has targeted biofilm inhibition and treatment as a goal, specifically stated in the announcement. Despite decades of research in biofilms, no compound has been identified that prevents or destroys these structures in wounds or other infection sites. We propose to address this problem by developing a novel system of screening wound and implant models in animals and in biofilm cultures. We will employ the technique of in vivo bioluminescence imaging BLI to establish and test this system. BLI uses recombinant pathogens that emit light. We will use recombinant bioluminescent Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which are both known as important wound and implant pathogens, and which form distinct biofilms. Should we be able to identify even one new treatment, many military lives will be saved, and hospitalization times and time to return to duty will be reduced, and our goal is to identify many such compounds. In addition, the capability to respond rapidly to new and more dangerous infections will be greatly enhanced. The overall goal of this project is to establish the system rather than to develop the selected plant derived substances themselves as treatments.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology

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