Staphylococcus aureus infections of the skin and soft tissue pose a major concern to public health, largely owing to the steadily increasing prevalence of drug resistant isolates. As an alternative mode of treatment both bacteriophage endolysins and bacteriocins have been shown to possess antimicrobial efficacy against multiple species of bacteria including otherwise drug resistant strains. Despite this, the administration and exposure of such antimicrobials should be restricted until required in order to discourage the continued evolution of bacterial resistance, whilst maintaining the activity and stability of such proteinaceous structures. Utilising the increase in skin temperature during infection, the truncated bacteriophage endolysin CHAPK and the staphylococcal bacteriocin lysostaphin have been co-administered in a thermally triggered manner from Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) nanoparticles. The thermoresponsive nature of the PNIPAM polymer has been employed in order to achieve the controlled expulsion of a synergistic enzybiotic cocktail consisting of CHAPK and lysostaphin. The point at which this occurs is modifiable, in this case corresponding to the threshold temperature associated with an infected wound. Consequently, bacterial lysis was observed at 37 °C, whilst growth was maintained at the uninfected skin temperature of 32 °C.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council ( BBSRC ) ( BB/K011995/1 ) and Public Health England for funding this work. Special thanks to Diana Lednitzky for her help with the SEM and Charlotte Hind for her help with microbiology. All data created during this research is openly available from the University of Bath data archive at http://doi.org/10.15125/BATH-00247 .
- Bacteriophage endolysin
- Thermal release