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J.J. Kim, M. Jeon, W. Jacobs, J. Kriakov, T. Weisbrod, H. Engel; Novel Approach to Fight Nontuberculous Mycobacteria . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):1917.
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To determine whether Mycobacterium chelonae and Mycobacterium abscessus are sensitive to infection by bacteriophages. Although the use of prophylactic preoperative and postoperative antibiotics have decreased the incidence of bacterial keratitis occurring after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery, the difficulty in detecting and treating this infection has shown the need for more effective diagnostic tools and treatment. The two most common causes of nontuberculous mycobacterial keratitis are Mycobacterium chelonae and Mycobacterium abscessus.
The Mycobacterium organisms were grown for 5 days in Middlebrook 7H9 liquid medium and infected with various phages at the late exponential phase of growth. Plaque formations in the bacterial lawns were observed after overnight incubation at 30oC. Since progeny phages will only develop in viable host bacteria, successful infection and replication of phages is indicative of bacterial infection with ultimate lysis of host bacteria.
Both Mycobacterium chelonae and Mycobacterium abscessus are sensitive to infection by mycobacteriophages D29 and I3.
We have shown a novel approach to killing stubborn ocular pathogens with mycobacteriophages D29 and I3. Limited penetration of antibiotics through the intact epithelium coupled with the relatively slow growth rate of Mycobacterial organisms account for their resistance to antibiotics. Phage therapy offers the potential advantage of being very specific to targeting only the pathogenic microorganisms, and not affecting the normal microflora or host cells. In addition, phages replicate at the site of infection, and will therefore produce a high concentration at the site where they are most needed.
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