Presenter Information

Laura MaskeriFollow

Major

Bioinformatics

Anticipated Graduation Year

2021

Access Type

Open Access

Abstract

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections that occur in the bladder, kidneys, ureter, urethra or prostate, and are considered one of the most common bacterial infections of the body. The most common cause of UTIs is Escherichia coli; a Gram-negative bacterium that is typically a healthy part of the body’s bacterial biome. The management of reoccurring UTIs has become substantially more difficult to treat due to increasing antibacterial resistance. An alternative to antibiotics is bacteriophage therapy. Bacteriophages (or phage) are viruses that infect bacteria, injecting their DNA, replicating, and then lysing (killing) the bacterial host. Phages usually only infect a single bacterial species, which allows for them to have the potential to be a targeted treatment option. This project was focused on obtaining the host specificity ranges for 8 phages, creating a machine learning algorithm to determine which di- or tri- amino acid within each respective phage tail fiber gene was most informative for its host range, and attempting to expand the host range of the phage, N4, using a chemical mutagen.

Faculty Mentors & Instructors

Dr. Catherine Putonti, Bioinformatics Program Director and Associate Professor, Bioinformatics; Dr. Dmitriy Dligach, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Computer Science

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Share

COinS
 

Genetically Engineering Phages for Therapeutic Use in Treating UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are infections that occur in the bladder, kidneys, ureter, urethra or prostate, and are considered one of the most common bacterial infections of the body. The most common cause of UTIs is Escherichia coli; a Gram-negative bacterium that is typically a healthy part of the body’s bacterial biome. The management of reoccurring UTIs has become substantially more difficult to treat due to increasing antibacterial resistance. An alternative to antibiotics is bacteriophage therapy. Bacteriophages (or phage) are viruses that infect bacteria, injecting their DNA, replicating, and then lysing (killing) the bacterial host. Phages usually only infect a single bacterial species, which allows for them to have the potential to be a targeted treatment option. This project was focused on obtaining the host specificity ranges for 8 phages, creating a machine learning algorithm to determine which di- or tri- amino acid within each respective phage tail fiber gene was most informative for its host range, and attempting to expand the host range of the phage, N4, using a chemical mutagen.