In the current issue of the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives (121(2): A48-A53 (2013)), contributing author Carol Potera reviews the emerging uses of bacteriophage as antibiotic alternatives. The article “Phage Renaissance: New Hope Against Antibiotic Resistance”, examines several applications for phage-directed approaches, including food safety, medical, and water treatment. In the article, IBBR/Vet-Med faculty, Dr. Daniel Nelson, a world-renowned researcher on phage lysins, describes the inherent properties of phage enzymes as a viable approach in several applications. These enzymes, also called lysins, are phage-encoded enzymes that are responsible for select killing of targeted bacteria and are being investigated as alternatives to antibiotics. Dr. Nelson’s research group focuses on a number of these phage-lysins and recently published the X-ray crystal structure of PlyC, the most the most powerful lysin known.
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