Investigating the Lytic Staphylococcus aureus Bacteriophage Reservoir Amongst a South Carolina University Population: Discovery, Characterization, and Identification of a Potential Bacteriophage Treatment for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Bacteriophages are viruses that only infect bacterial cells and can be used to treat antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. This study focused on the isolation and characterization of bacteriophages lytic to Staphylococcus aureus at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) in Conway, South Carolina, as a means to isolate bacteriophages that can potentially be used to treat methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an antibiotic-resistant S. aureus variant. From 2014 to 2018, collection of ear and nose samples from 225 randomly selected CCU volunteers was conducted. Filter sterilization, amplification, microbial tests, and PCR analyses were performed in order to identify and characterize bacteriophages. Coliphage populations were also monitored as an indicator of temporal competition and fecal contamination. A pilot study was initiated in 2017 in which 15 CCU volunteers were sampled once a month from October 2017 through March 2018 in order to investigate coliphage and S. aureus phage population dynamics. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the lytic Staphylococcus aureus phage repository found in the CCU community, and to explore S. aureus phage dynamics amongst the CCU populace. Results indicated that a considerable S. aureus and E. coli phage reservoir exists amongst the CCU population. Most phages could not be characterized via PCR analysis, suggesting high diversity. The preliminary study indicated that S. aureus and E. coli hosts potentially exhibit temporal competition, of which might be explanatory of phage population fluctuations.
Pieterse, Lisa; Powers, Amy; Pride, Derek; van Onselen, Lisha; Leone, Giovanna E.; and Richardson, Paul E.
"Investigating the Lytic Staphylococcus aureus Bacteriophage Reservoir Amongst a South Carolina University Population: Discovery, Characterization, and Identification of a Potential Bacteriophage Treatment for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus,"
Journal of the South Carolina Academy of Science: Vol. 16
, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/jscas/vol16/iss1/8