Abstract Title

Revolving Resistance: Characterizing the Cyclic Interaction Between Bacteria and Bacteriophage

Additional Funding Sources

The project described was supported by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Grant No. P20GM103408.

Abstract

Bacteriophage are a virus type that infect bacteria, killing them in the process. They have shown promise in providing new ways to combat bacterial threats arising from antibiotic resistant bacteria. In order to understand how these viruses can be used in phage therapy, a better understanding of how these two organisms evolve and develop resistance against each other needs to be established. Currently, it is known that they undergo cyclical evolution, with bacteria gaining resistance to infection, and bacteriophage overcoming that resistance through evolution. More information need to be gathered in understanding what are the specific steps to resistance in bacteria, and what are the responses from bacteriophage to regain virulence. In order to study this, three different strains of bacteriophage, known as G4, ID8, and ID12 were tested against a strain of Escherichia coli, E. coli C41, which had previously gained resistance to phage infection. These phages were then evolved and used to wipe out cultures of C41. When fully resistant survivor colonies appeared, they were picked, purified, and processed to identify the mutations that granted resistance.

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Revolving Resistance: Characterizing the Cyclic Interaction Between Bacteria and Bacteriophage

Bacteriophage are a virus type that infect bacteria, killing them in the process. They have shown promise in providing new ways to combat bacterial threats arising from antibiotic resistant bacteria. In order to understand how these viruses can be used in phage therapy, a better understanding of how these two organisms evolve and develop resistance against each other needs to be established. Currently, it is known that they undergo cyclical evolution, with bacteria gaining resistance to infection, and bacteriophage overcoming that resistance through evolution. More information need to be gathered in understanding what are the specific steps to resistance in bacteria, and what are the responses from bacteriophage to regain virulence. In order to study this, three different strains of bacteriophage, known as G4, ID8, and ID12 were tested against a strain of Escherichia coli, E. coli C41, which had previously gained resistance to phage infection. These phages were then evolved and used to wipe out cultures of C41. When fully resistant survivor colonies appeared, they were picked, purified, and processed to identify the mutations that granted resistance.