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Uncovering Endolysins against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Using a Microbial Single-Cell Genome Database

Updated: Jul 10

Paper Summary

In this study, we have discovered new antibacterial drug candidates for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by using an innovative single-cell genome sequencing technique to search for antibacterial enzyme genes from genomic data of uncultured bacteria.

Single-cell genome sequencing allows access to unknown bacterial genomes that are difficult to obtain using conventional culture methods, making it possible to search for antibacterial enzyme genes that could not be found using conventional methods. The research team analyzed single-cell genome data obtained from human skin microbiome samples and discovered 96 novel antibacterial enzyme genes.

This antibacterial enzyme is derived from a bacteriophage and has the ability to degrade bacterial cell walls. Furthermore, by combining these genes, we succeeded in developing an artificial antibacterial enzyme that is highly effective against MRSA. It was confirmed that the developed antibacterial enzyme exhibits a quicker bactericidal action than conventional antibiotics and has a low risk of the emergence of resistant bacteria. In addition, experiments using mice demonstrated its therapeutic effect against MRSA infections.

This research result demonstrates a new approach to drug discovery that utilizes genomic information from uncultured bacteria, and offers new possibilities for combating drug-resistant bacteria. It is expected to make a major contribution to the future treatment of infectious diseases.

This research was conducted in collaboration with bitBiome, and the single-cell genome sequencing technology and data analysis were based on research results from Waseda University.

Yoda T, Matsuhashi A, Matsushita A, Shibagaki S, Sasakura Y, Aoki K, Hosokawa M , Tsuda S.


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