Researchers at Western University have developed a new way to deliver the DNA-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 into microorganisms in the lab, providing a way to efficiently launch a targeted attack on specific bacteria.
Published today in Nature Communications, this study opens up the possibility of using CRISPR to alter the makeup of the human microbiome in a way that could be personalized and specific from person to person. It also presents a potential alternative to traditional antibiotics to kill bacteria like Staphyloccous aureus (Staph A) or Escherichia coli (E. coli).
“One of the major reasons that I am excited about this work is that it has a wide range of possible real-world applications,” said Bogumil Karas, PhD, Assistant Professor at Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. “It has the potential for development of next generation antimicrobial agents that would be effective even for bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics. This technology could also be used to help ‘good’ bacteria produce compounds to treat diseases caused by protein deficiencies.”
CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and can be programmed to target specific stretches of genetic code and to edit DNA at precise locations. Researchers use CRISPR to permanently modify genes in living cells and organisms.
In this way, CRISPR can be programmed to kill bacteria, but until now there wasn’t a way to efficiently and specifically target certain bacterial strains.
“Using CRISPR to kill things isn’t a new idea because that’s what CRISPR does naturally,” said David Edgell, PhD, Professor at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. “The problem has always been how you get CRISPR to where you want it to go. Other delivery systems could only go to a few spots, where ours can go anywhere.”
The delivery system developed at Western uses bacteria’s natural ability to replicate – called bacterial conjugation – to deliver CRISPR to specific bacteria, in order to alter its DNA and kill it.
“Specific delivery of any therapeutic agent, including CRISPR, is usually one of the biggest bottlenecks in development of new treatments. By developing this new delivery system, we created new tools that could help us in the development of more effective therapies in the near future,” said Karas.
The team says their delivery system is not only broadly applicable, but it is also more efficient than previous systems.
“We were able to show near complete transfer of the delivery vehicle to another bacterial species under conditions where they are in intimate contact – in a biofilm. This is important because biofilms are the natural state of the majority of bacteria, and being able to transfer DNA under these conditions is typically difficult, but we found a way to make it easy and efficient,” said Gregory Gloor, PhD, Professor at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry.
The Latest on: Next generation antimicrobial agents
via Google News
The Latest on: Next generation antimicrobial agents
- Researchers unlock potential to use CRISPR to alter the microbiomeon October 4, 2019 at 7:44 am
"It has the potential for development of next generation antimicrobial agents that would be effective even for bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics. This technology could also be used ...
- DGAP-News: Evotec SE: New IMI project 'GNA Now' kicks off its battle against antimicrobial resistanceon July 31, 2019 at 10:37 pm
The new GNA NOW project, led by Evotec SE, managed by Lygature and funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), will work on the development of novel antibacterial agents to battle ... and ...
- Get Smart About Antibiotics Week: What's Your Antimicrobial Name?on November 10, 2015 at 8:38 pm
Next week (November 16-22, 2015 ... In addition to slowing the rate of antibiotic resistance, it is also vital to develop new antimicrobial agents. In fact, the White House has called this a matter of ...
- Propelled by Next-Gen Sequencing, MDx Gains on Antimicrobial Resistanceon July 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm
To keep up with such elusive quarry, molecular diagnostics may need to shift to next-generation sequencing (NGS ... The fluid genetics of particularly virulent and antimicrobial-resistant strains and ...
- La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company Acquires Rights to Next-Generation Gentamicin Derivativeson May 7, 2015 at 1:18 pm
IURTC’s technology covers the use of next-generation, parenteral gentamicin derivatives as antimicrobial agents with the potential for reduced toxicity. La Jolla also entered into a second option ...
- Kodak and PurThread Collaborate on Antimicrobial Technology for Textileson November 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm
The company is also partnering with leaders in the textile industry to manufacture its products and bring this next-generation technology to discerning consumer brands. "We are extremely pleased with ...
- MicuRx Pharmaceuticals Announces Issuance Of U.S. Patent For Its Next-Generation Antibacterial Agenton May 23, 2012 at 2:30 am
and SHANGHAI, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MicuRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation antibiotics ... with its high antimicrobial potency and ...
via Bing News