Neutralization of cytotoxins as a combination therapy with antibiotics for treatment or prevention of multi-drug resistant organism biofilm infections
We are exploring the hypothesis that cytotoxin neutralization with anti-toxin antibodies can augment treatment of multi-drug resistant organism biofilm infections through prevention or disruption, making the organisms more susceptible to traditional antibiotic therapies.
Utilizing a mucosal model of infection we developed (see publications), we are able to evaluate efficacy, irritation potential and toxicity of candidate antimicrobial formulations internally and for industrial partners. The model, which was designed to predict therapeutic efficacy, utilizes explants of porcine vaginal mucosa cultured on a permeable transwell insert and maintains an air interface. This allows us to infect at the mucosal surface, then treat with liquids, pastes, gels or Class I medical devices, such as non-woven or foam dressings.
Chronic non-healing wounds represent a large and growing problem. Current treatment of such wounds is empirical and consists of a trial-and-error approach using a multitude of wound care products, ranging from simple moisture managament dressings to antimicrobial dressings, skin substitutes, and growth factors. Chronic wounds can be treated for several months before the optimal treatment is identified. This is detrimental to the quality of life of patients and contributes to the high cost of wound care. In collaboration with an industrial partner, we are conducting a proteomic and genomic analysis of healing vs. non-healing wound tissues and fluid to identify biomarkers indicative of wound healing. It is the premise of such work that the development of a thorough scientific understanding of the wounds will enhance patient care by guiding research and technology.
We believe that ultimately, for research to be translated and have impact on society, the science needs to be developed commercially. This is where our collaborations within the thriving biomedical industry come into play.