8 thoughts on “P47 – McGrath

  1. Your presentation was great and you got your research point across. Closer to the end of the presentation you talked about how certain phage therapies that are able to kill bacteria sooner are better. could those certain phages affect other parts of the body in a bad way? and do you plan to do research not only on the Kayen phage but also how it impacts the human body?

    1. Ideally the phage would only target bacterial cells within their host range. There still are some unknowns with phage therapy though, and that is your question of how it would interact with human cells. From what we know it shouldn’t be able to infect human cells, since the surface proteins that the phage uses to recognize its target are different on bacterial cells and human cells. Treatment shouldn’t be based on assumptions though. We would need to see how it impacts the body before it could be used in any way.

  2. How great are the differences between phages in the same cluster in their ability to lyse bacteria?

    1. That really depends on the phage and the lysins it uses. If it couldn’t lyse bacteria at all it wouldn’t be able to reproduce. Lysins are generally pretty specific, so they wouldn’t work on bacteria other than the phage’s host bacteria. The variance isn’t huge because of this, but with how quickly bacterial replicate it is important to try and save time where you can.

  3. Based on the cluster that you placed your phage in, what types of diseases could it potentially treat?

    1. Actually, host ranges can vary even within clusters. However since it is a Mycobacteriophage, we are hoping it will able to infect different Mycobacteria other than the host M. smeg. The key one we are targeting is Mycobacteria tuberculosis which is responsible for tuberculosis.

  4. Very Cool! I’m interested how you isolated the phages from soil, could you tell me a little more about that if you can?

    1. Hi Andy! It actually took some time before we were able to find a phage, 7 weeks passed of just the two of us enriching soil samples (usually taken from around campus at CU Boulder). For enrichment we basically just add the host M. smegmatis to the soil samples to allow the phage to spread to them, and then we filter out the bacteria and plate it on an agar plate. If there are plaques, areas with an absence of bacteria, then that indicates a phage being in our sample. Between the two of us it was about 14 tries before we found one, haha!

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