Our team is working on different projects both in the phage and phage lysin therapy fields. Besides constantly isolating new phages and phage lysins to fight against multi-drug resistant bacteria, the development of a rationalised phage therapy in the frame of a personalised medicine is the focus of our research efforts. We are therefore particularly interested in i) bacterial resistance mechanisms to phages, ii) mechanisms of antibiotics/phages cross-resistances and iii) the design of new methods allowing rational selection of phages. Concerning lysins, isolating new promising candidates against streptocci and understanding their mechanisms of enzymatic activities through molecular dissection for instance is part of our routine expertise.
We are currently involved in several funded projects (listed below).
The project “Prophylaxis and Treatment of Staphylococcus spp. Intravascular and Extravascular Infections with Bacteriophages” is a 48-month SNFS funded project launched on February 2nd 2018 in collaboration with and Drs. Yok-Ai Que and Dr. Matthias Hänggi (Inselspital, Bern). It aims at systematically evaluate the therapeutic as well as the prophylactic potentials of phage therapy both in vitro and in vivo in various models of staphylococcal infections.
The project “Inphinity” is an SNFS funded Intersciplinary 36-month project launched on July 1st 2016 aiming to develop an in silico model for the prediction of phage-bacteria interactions. Conducted in collaboration with the HEIG-VD (Pr. Carlos Penã) and the Inselspital Bern (Dr. Yok-Ai Que), Inphinity will contribute to the re-introduction of phage therapy by providing a new tool for rapid and accurate selection of therapeutic phages.
The project “Gathering of a phage bank” is running on a routine basis in our lab. This project has been partially granted by the Loterie Romande aims at gathering and maintaining a significant collection of phages with therapeutic potential against the main human bacterial pathogen, i.e. belonging to the ESKAPE group.
PhagoBurn (www.phagoburn.eu) was a European Research & Development (R&D) project funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development. The project was launched on June 1st 2013 and ended on January 2018. It aimed at evaluating phage therapy for the treatment of burn wounds infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli through a phase I-II clinical trial. Results can be consulted here (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/108695_fr.html).
PhageBack (www.phageback.ch) was a collaborative project with the “Eprouvette”, UNIL and The Service of Adult Intensive Care, CHUV aiming at exchanging with the public about phages and phage therapy. It was financed by a SNSF Agora grant.
SNFS funded SCOPES Project. This project conducted in collaboration with the team of Dr. Mzia Kutatelatze, Director of the George Eliava Research Institute of Bacteriophages, Microbiology and Virology, Tbilisi, Georgia aimed at designing a new anti Acinetobacter baumannii phage cocktail.