Novel alternatives to antibiotics by mining human gut microbiome data

Project Details


Antibiotics are essential for treating microbial infections. An estimated 2 to 10 years increase in life expectancy is attributable to them. But current trends in usage and development of antibiotics are alarming. First, increasing emergence of antibiotic resistance is a critical health threat. Antibiotic resistance itself is not a man-made phenomenon, and is ancient. However, increased use of antibiotics (e.g. unnecessary prescriptions and abuse outside of healthcare) causes the spread of resistance worldwide leading to considerable burden on health and economy.
The project aims to identify novel antimicrobial agents from publicly available metagenomic sequencing data derived from human gut (fecal) microbiomes. The specific sub-objectives are to
1. Use co-exclusion between microbial genes and taxa to identify potential inhibition,
2. Prioritize candidate genes using statistics and lower impact on commensal gut microbes,
3. Isolate strains carrying candidate genes and perform activity assays against target microbes,
4. Validate activity of successful candidates in complex microbial cultures from human feces.
Effective start/end date01/07/201631/12/2020


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