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Intelligent Antibacterial Therapeutic

Schepens Eye Research Institute
posted on 02/04/2010

Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive commensal bacterium inhabiting the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and other mammals. E. faecalis can cause life-threatening infections in humans, especially in the hospital environment. E. faecalis is resistant to many commonly used antimicrobial agents, including Vancomycin. Phage therapies have been used as an alternative to antibiotics but existing phage therapies potentially affect both antibiotic susceptible as well as antibiotic resistant strains, destabilizing the commensal flora, which can lead to severe complications. Dr. Gilmore and Coworkers at Schepens Eye Research Institute have discovered that strains of Enterococcus faecalis possessing multidrug resistance genes have evolved so by sacrificing some of their defense mechanisms against foreign DNA. Such strains can thus be selectively targeted without arming non-pathogenic strains using phage, plasmid or other DNA-based therapy. Between 5 and 10 percent of all hospital patients develop an infection, leading to an increase of about $30 billion in annual U.S. healthcare costs and costing over 100,000 lives.
The technology shows tremendous promise in the prophylaxis and treatment of bacterial infections. It can be used to:
- Decontaminate hospital surfaces to reduce or eliminate reservoirs of multiple antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria,
- Decontaminate a patient prior to surgery, or during hospitalization, reducing the carriage of multiple antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

Innovation Details

File Number: SERI-250 

Other Information:

Ph.D. Michael Gilmore

Mary Chatterton, Director of Corporate Alliances.

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February 11, 2009

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