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Assessment of the microbiome during bacteriophage therapy in combination with systemic antibiotics to treat a case of staphylococcal device infection.

  • Author(s): Mu, Andre;
  • McDonald, Daniel;
  • Jarmusch, Alan K;
  • Martino, Cameron;
  • Brennan, Caitriona;
  • Bryant, Mackenzie;
  • Humphrey, Gregory C;
  • Toronczak, Julia;
  • Schwartz, Tara;
  • Nguyen, Dominic;
  • Ackermann, Gail;
  • D'Onofrio, Anthony;
  • Strathdee, Steffanie A;
  • Schooley, Robert T;
  • Dorrestein, Pieter C;
  • Knight, Rob;
  • Aslam, Saima
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

Infectious bacterial diseases exhibiting increasing resistance to antibiotics are a serious global health issue. Bacteriophage therapy is an anti-microbial alternative to treat patients with serious bacterial infections. However, the impacts to the host microbiome in response to clinical use of phage therapy are not well understood.

Results

Our paper demonstrates a largely unchanged microbiota profile during 4 weeks of phage therapy when added to systemic antibiotics in a single patient with Staphylococcus aureus device infection. Metabolomic analyses suggest potential indirect cascading ecological impacts to the host (skin) microbiome. We did not detect genomes of the three phages used to treat the patient in metagenomic samples taken from saliva, stool, and skin; however, phages were detected using endpoint-PCR in patient serum.

Conclusion

Results from our proof-of-principal study supports the use of bacteriophages as a microbiome-sparing approach to treat bacterial infections. Video abstract.

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