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Rockefeller University and ContraFect | Date: 2011-01-05

The present invention relates to methods and compositions for use in modulating, including inhibiting the growth and/or reducing the virulence of gram-positive bacteria. The present invention provides methods and compositions for disrupting the cell wall and/or cell membrane in gram-positive bacteria such that cell wall or cell membrane target(s) are rendered exposed or accessible and sensitive to a modulation thereof. Methods for modulation of one or more gram-positive bacterial cell wall or cell membrane targets in a gram-positive bacteria are provided comprising disrupting the cell wall such that the cell wall or cell membrane target, which is particularly a sortase, is rendered exposed or accessible and sensitive to a modifying, modulating or binding agent, which is particularly an antibody or fragment thereof, wherein the cell wall or cell membrane target is inaccessible or relatively insensitive to the modifying, modulating or binding agent in the absence of cell wall disruption.

Kan S.,Rockefeller University | Fornelos N.,University of Jyvaskyla | Schuch R.,Rockefeller University | Schuch R.,ContraFect | Fischetti V.A.,Rockefeller University
Journal of Bacteriology | Year: 2013

Tectiviridae is a family of tailless bacteriophages with Gram-negative and Gram-positive hosts. The family model PRD1 and its close relatives all infect a broad range of enterobacteria by recognizing a plasmid-encoded conjugal transfer complex as a receptor. In contrast, tectiviruses with Gram-positive hosts are highly specific to only a few hosts within the same bacterial species. The cellular determinants that account for the observed specificity remain unknown. Here we present the genome sequence of Wip1, a tectivirus that infects the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. The Wip1 genome is related to other tectiviruses with Gram-positive hosts, notably, AP50, but displays some interesting differences in its genome organization. We identified Wip1 candidate genes for the viral spike complex, the structure located at the capsid vertices and involved in host receptor binding. Phage adsorption and inhibition tests were combined with immunofluorescence microscopy to show that the Wip1 gene product p23 is a receptor binding protein. His-p23 also formed a stable complex with p24, a Wip1 protein of unknown function, suggesting that the latter is involved with p23 in host cell recognition. The narrow host range of phage Wip1 and the identification of p23 as a receptor binding protein offer a new range of suitable tools for the rapid identification of B. anthracis. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.

Lood R.,Rockefeller University | Winer B.Y.,Rockefeller University | Winer B.Y.,Lewis Thomas Laboratory | Pelzek A.J.,Rockefeller University | And 9 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2015

Acinetobacter baumannii, a Gram-negative multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterium, is now recognized as one of the more common nosocomial pathogens. Because most clinical isolates are found to be multidrug resistant, alternative therapies need to be developed to control this pathogen. We constructed a bacteriophage genomic library based on prophages induced from 13 A. baumannii strains and screened it for genes encoding bacteriolytic activity. Using this approach, we identified 21 distinct lysins with different activities and sequence diversity that were capable of killing A. baumannii. The lysin (PlyF307) displaying the greatest activity was further characterized and was shown to efficiently kill (>5-log-unit decrease) all tested A. baumannii clinical isolates. Treatment with PlyF307 was able to significantly reduce planktonic and biofilm A. baumannii both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, PlyF307 rescued mice from lethal A. baumannii bacteremia and as such represents the first highly active therapeutic lysin specific for Gram-negative organisms in an array of native lysins found in Acinetobacter phage. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

The present invention provides methods for treatment or prophylaxis of viruses, particularly influenza virus, by administration of agents, particularly neutralizing antibodies or active fragments thereof, directly to the respiratory tract, including by intranasal or inhalation administration. The invention provides compositions suitable for intranasal or inhalation treatment and administration. The invention includes methods for treatment or prophylaxis combining intranasal or inhalation administration with intraperitoneal or intravenous administration of antibodies.

The present invention provides methods for the prevention, control, disruption and treatment of bacterial biofilms with lysin, particularly lysin having capability to kill Staphlococcal bacteria, including drug resistant

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