The rise of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens presents an increasing challenge in public health and in agricultural systems. Phage therapy (use of phages to combat bacterial infections) may provide a viable alternative, when phage alone or in combination with traditional antibiotics are used to target multi-drug resistant bacteria. We examine how phage exert selection pressure on pathogenic bacteria, especially phage binding to virulence factors that selects for bacteria to evolve reduced virulence. These studies are wide-ranging, using mathematical models, in vitro selection experiments, and animal models, and even involve emergency treatment in humans.
• Chan, B.K., P.E. Turner, S. Kim, H.R. Mojibian, J.A. Elefteriades, and D. Narayan. 2018. Case Study: Phage treatment of an aortic graft infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Evolution, Medicine and Public Health (In press).
• Chan, B.K., K. Brown, K.E. Kortright, S. Mao, and P.E. Turner. 2016. Extending the lifetime of antibiotics: how can phage therapy help? Future Microbiology 11(9):1105-1107. DOI: 10.2217/fmb-2016-0133.
• Chan, B.K., M. Sistrom, J.E. Wertz, K.E. Kortright, D. Narayan, and P.E. Turner. 2016. Phage selection restores antibiotic sensitivity in MDR Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Scientific Reports 6:26717. DOI: 10.1038/srep26717. PMCID: PMC4880932.
• Turner, P.E., E.S.C.P. Williams, C. Okeke, V. Cooper, S. Duffy, and J. Wertz. 2014. Antibiotic resistance correlates with transmission in plasmid evolution. Evolution 68:3368-3380.
• Kysela, D.T., and P.E. Turner. 2007. Optimal bacteriophage mutation rates for phage therapy. Journal of Theoretical Biology 249:411-421.