Jan 26, 2023

Double Agents: Engineered Bacteria Tackle Pathogenic Biofilms in Mice

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics


Mycoplasma pneumoniae are tiny bacteria typically known to cause lung infections. But now, a group of scientists have turned them into double agents. Genetically engineered Mycoplasma helped break down biofilms of another pathogenic microbe, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in a mouse model of ventilator-associated pneumonia and on tube samples taken from human patients, the team reported January 19 in Nature Biotechnology. It is one of the first times that scientists have used live bacteria to treat a lung disease, and is the first therapeutic use of Mycoplasma.

“This approach is really powerful,” says Dave Hava, a microbiologist who wasn’t involved in the research, but who works at a company called Synlogic that develops live bacteria therapeutics for gut issues. “It offers the chance to target diseases and mechanisms that you can’t do with conventional therapies.”

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