Eradicate oral bacteria with bacteriophage viruses and replace them with genetically modified, protective strains
Image credit: Kukski
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- Figure out a way to find the bacteriophages of interest. For example find people with far below average incidence of oral infections (caries, periodontal disease) induced by oral biofilms.
- From their saliva Isolate bacteriophages that target the main disease-causing culprits such as Streptococcus Mutans, Streptococcus Sobrinus, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Bacteroides forsythus, and Eikenella corrodens)
- Create a mouthwash-like medium that is used to inoculate these isolated bacteriophages into the patient's mouth. Give it sufficient time to kill the bacteria.
- Inoculate the patient's mouth with beneficial bacterial species that have been engineered with an advantage which allows them to outcompete the pathogen species
- this could be a biotech startup worthy direction
- the same concept can be applied to many other persistent pathogen bacteria (C. difficile, H. pylori, etc)
- good research potential
Szafrański, Szymon P et al. “The use of bacteriophages to biocontrol oral biofilms.” Journal of biotechnology vol. 250 (2017): 29-44. doi:10.1016/j.jbiotec.2017.01.002
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Hillman, Jeffrey D., et al. "Safety assessment of ProBiora3, a probiotic mouthwash: subchronic toxicity study in rats." International journal of toxicology, 28.5, 2009, pp. 357-367.
Hillman, J. D., S. S. Socransky, and Myra Shivers. "The relationships between streptococcal species and periodontopathic bacteria in human dental plaque." Archives of Oral Biology, 30.11-12, 1985, pp. 791-795.
Hillman, J. D., et al. "A spontaneous lactate dehydrogenase deficient mutant of Streptococcus rattus for use as a probiotic in the prevention of dental caries." Journal of applied microbiology, 107.5, 2009, pp. 1551-1558.
Socransky, S. S., et al. "Associations between microbial species in subgingival plaque samples." Oral microbiology and immunology, 3.1, 1988, pp. 1-7.