(648e) Engineered Microconsortium of Lactic Acid Bacteria to Combat Wound Infections

Authors: 
Nair, N. U., Tufts University
Chappell, T. C., Tufts University
Up to 60% of all wounds and 80% of chronic wounds are infected with biofilms â?? surface-associated microbial communities residing within an extracellular matrix â?? that prevent healing and are responsible for other major health complications. For dermal wounds, noninvasive topical antimicrobial treatments, such as silver, iodine, medicinal honey, and antibiotics, are common yet can be ineffective at overcoming the protection conferred by the biofilm matrix and the associated growth paradigm. Disrupting the structural elements of the biofilm is an interesting strategy for re-sensitization of biofilm associated microbes to antimicrobials, an essential step in noninvasive infection clearance. Recent work on alternative wound treatments has shown that topical application of probiotic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) inhibits pathogenic bacterial growth on wounds and promotes wound healing. However, LAB activity against mature biofilms has not been characterized. In this talk, we will describe the design of a synthetic microconsortium of engineered LAB (Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus reuteri) that serve as a topical wound treatment and can provide therapeutic benefit through synergistic combination of various therapeutic mechanisms. This LAB microconsortium is designed to detect the presence of pathogens and execute appropriate responses to disassemble mature biofilm matrices and inhibit nascent biofilm formation through enzymatic disruption, while also inhibiting microbial growth through production of antimicrobial compounds. We will discuss our recent efforts in development of this system against Pseudomonas aeruginosa â?? a major opportunistic biofilm-forming pathogen found in most chronic wound infection sites.