Belgian project aims to eliminate MRSA in pigs

01-04-2010 | |

A three-year project is being undertaken by the Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre (VARC) and the Free University Brussels (VUB) with the aim to eliminate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from pigs.

According to VARC, MRSA are multi-drug resistant bacteria that cause severe problems in human medicine. A new reservoir of MRSA was discovered recently in pigs, but different domestic and non-domestic studies show that other species may be colonized as well.
The aim of this project is to eliminate MRSA in pigs, or at least achieve a significant reduction in the level of colonization, thus lowering or preventing the risk of human beings being infected. To achieve this, phage endolysins are over-produced in E. coli or Pichia pastoris. They are purified for use in the in vivo treatment of experimentally infected animals.
The specific objectives of the project are:
  • to isolate and over-produce a representative collection of phage-coded lysins acting against specific MRSA clones from pigs
  • to characterize the host range of these enzymes
  • to study the efficiency, in vitro and in animal models, of the bactericide action of these phage enzymes
  • to test methods for administering the phage enzyme preparation in the nose and on the skin of pigs, and
  • to test the efficiency of the phage enzyme treatment in eliminating MRSA colonization in pigs.


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