By Vikas Balajirao Maske

Enterococcus faecium (EF) is a commensal bacterium living in the human gut. In most cases, it's part of a harmless microbial community. However, EF may become an opportunistic pathogen in cases of a weak immune system and high use of antibiotics, gain antimicrobial resistance, and cause drug-resistant infections. A particularly concerning aspect of EF is the emergence of strains resistant to antibiotics, especially vancomycin. These vancomycin-resistant enterococci, or VRE, pose a serious threat in healthcare settings as they become difficult to treat with traditional antibiotics (Krawczyk et al., 2021). In this context, EF-specific phage (vB_EfaH_163) therapy is an inevitable way to treat such infections. The vB_EfaH_163 phage infects an EF and replicates itself in the bacterium. The vB_EfaH_163 protein (holin) creates pores in the bacterial membrane, resulting in the bursting of the bacterium and the release of new phage particles in the gut. It can infect many different strains of EF, including strains that are VRE-derived. It can also infect other strains of EF. In both broth culture and an animal model of Galleria mellonella, it demonstrated the ability to regulate the growth of a clinical VRE isolate. Hence, vB_EfaH_163 may be used to treat AMR strains of EF.


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Vikas Balajirao Maske



Published: 28 Mar, 2024

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