Photo credit: Kerry Williamson

Photo credit: Kerry Williamson

Bacterial biofilms represent a significant medical challenge due to the inability of therapeutics and the immune system to penetrate this protective coating. In a paper published online on May 20, 2016 in Science Advances, the Howell lab identified and produced two enzymes that the Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa use to synthesis two exopolysaccharides, to degrade this critical component of the biofilm. The enzymes, known as glycoside hydrolases, do not kill the bacteria directly but instead remove the protective coating allowing antibiotics and the innate immune system to function more efficiently. The next step in the project involves showing the efficacy of these enzymes in an animal model of infection.

Read more about the work described in this publication:

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Enzymes bust bacterial Biofilms