Research topic/area: Prokaryotic Arms Race - from exploration to exploitation
Research Summary: The gain of antibiotic resistance by pathogens urges scientists progressively to search for other ways to fight bacterial infections. A promising alternative to antibiotics is phage therapy, i.e. the use of bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) that have the capacity to specifically recognize and eliminate bacterial strains. However upon infection, also phages face various resistance mechanisms and their rate of success is determined by their ability to evade these antiviral systems. To date, the knowledge on the interaction between phages and their bacterial hosts is rather limited. Therefore, to be able to fully exploit the potential of phage therapy, it is imperative to better understand this relationship. Here we propose to explore this phage-host relationship for Salmonella sp. and E. coli, two Enterobacteriaceae members that include notorious pathogens. We will focus on the recently discovered CRISPR immune system of these strains, how resistance is gained and how it is avoided by phage.
“Saturation-Transfer Difference (STD) NMR – A simple and fast method for ligand screening and characterization of protein binding” ; Aldino Viegas, João Manso, Franklin L. Nobrega and Eurico J. Cabrita; Journal of Chemical Education; Published May 2011; doi:10.1021/ed101169t
“Development of molecularly imprinted co-polymeric devices for controlled delivery of flufenamic acid using supercritical fluid technology”; Mara Silva, Franklin L. Nóbrega, Eurico J. Cabrita, Teresa Casimiro and Ana Aguiar-Ricardo; The Journal of Supercritical fluids; Published May 2011; doi:10.1016/j.supflu.2011.05.010
"Molecular aspects and comparative genomics of bacteriophage endolysins" ; Hugo Oliveira, Luís Melo, Sílvio Santos, Franklin Nóbrega, Eugénio Ferreira, Nuno Cerca, Joana Azeredo, and Leon Kluskens; Journal of Virology; Published February 2013, doi: 10.1128/JVI.03277-12