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Identification of Mycobacterium smegmatis and antibiotic resistance through the utilization of high titer mycobacteriophage concentrations and MALDI-TOF MS

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The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study

The diagnosis of bacterial infections based on phage multiplication has the potential for profound clinical implications, particularly for antibiotic-resistant strains and the slow-growing Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The possibility of hastening the diagnosis of antibiotic-resistant mycobacterial infections was accomplished via the study of Mycobacterium smegmatis, a generally non-pathogenic, comparatively fast growing microorganism to M. tuberculosis. These proof-of-concept studies established that after transduction of M. smegmatis cells with bacteriophages, MALDI-TOF MS could be used to detect increased amounts of phage proteins. Recording the growth of M. smegmatis over an 8-hour period, starting with very low OD600 measurements, simulated bacterial loads in clinical settings. For the purposes of MALDI-TOF MS, the procedure for the most effective lethal exposure for M. smegmatis was determined to be a 1-hour incubation in a 95°C water bath. Successful precipitation of the lytic mycobacteriophages D29 and Giles was performed using chloroform and methanol and overlaid with 1-2 μL of α-cyano-4-hydoxycinnaminic acid, which allowed for more distinct and repeatable MALDI-TOF MS spectra. Phage D29 was found to produce an m/z peak at 18.477 kDa, which may have indicated a 2+-charged ion of the 34.8 kDa minor tail protein. The Giles proteins that were identified with MALDI-TOF MS have not been directly compared to protein values reported in the scientific literature. However, the MALDI-TOF MS spectra suggested that distinct peaks existed between M. smegmatis mc2155 and mycobacteriophages, indicating that successful infection with lytic phage and replication thereafter may have occurred. The distinct peaks between M. smegmatis and the phage can be used as indicators of the presence of mycobacteria. At this point, the limits of detection of each phage must be elucidated in order for MALDI-TOF MS spectra to be successfully implemented as a mechanism to rapidly detect antibiotic-resistant mycobacteria.

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2015-05

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Targeting Traumatic Brain Injury: Using Phage Display to Create a Specific Antibody for Neurocan Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan Recognition

Description

This project aims to address the current protocol regarding the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in medical industries around the world. Although there are various methods used to qualitatively determine if TBI has occurred to a patient,

This project aims to address the current protocol regarding the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in medical industries around the world. Although there are various methods used to qualitatively determine if TBI has occurred to a patient, this study attempts to aid in the creation of a system for quantitative measurement of TBI and its relative magnitude. Through a method of artificial evolution/selection called phage display, an antibody that binds highly specifically to a post-TBI upregulated brain chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan called neurocan has been identified. As TG1 Escheria Coli bacteria were infected with KM13 helper phage and M13 filamentous phage in conjunction, monovalent display of antibody fragments (ScFv) was performed. The ScFv bind directly to the neurocan and from screening, phage that produced ScFv's with higher affinity and specificity to neurocan were separated and purified. Future research aims to improve the ScFv characteristics through increased screening toward neurocan. The identification of a highly specific antibody could lead to improved targeting of neurocan post-TBI in-vivo, aiding researchers in quantitatively defining TBI by visualizing its magnitude.

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2015-05

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Targeting astrogliosis: isolation and characterization of astrocyte specific single chain antibody fragments

Description

Specificity and affinity towards a given ligand/epitope limit target-specific delivery. Companies can spend between $500 million to $2 billion attempting to discover a new drug or therapy; a significant portion of this expense funds high-throughput screening to find the most

Specificity and affinity towards a given ligand/epitope limit target-specific delivery. Companies can spend between $500 million to $2 billion attempting to discover a new drug or therapy; a significant portion of this expense funds high-throughput screening to find the most successful target-specific compound available. A more recent addition to discovering highly specific targets is the application of phage display utilizing single chain variable fragment antibodies (scFv). The aim of this research was to employ phage display to identify pathologies related to traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly astrogliosis. A unique biopanning method against viable astrocyte cultures activated with TGF-β achieved this aim. Four scFv clones of interest showed varying relative affinities toward astrocytes. One of those four showed the ability to identify reactive astroctyes over basal astrocytes through max signal readings, while another showed a statistical significance in max signal reading toward basal astrocytes. Future studies will include further affinity characterization assays. This work contributes to the development of targeting therapeutics and diagnostics for TBI.

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2013