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Branko Rihtman

Double impact – exploring the potential of combined phage and antibiotic therapy

Bacteriophage therapy has been identified as one of the promising future directions of battling AMR (Czaplewski, et al., 2016), however bacterial resistance to phage infection can also occur.

In spite of fundamental mechanistic differences compared to antibiotic resistance, evading infection via evolving phage resistance could be a major hurdle in the process of developing phage therapy into a viable alternative antibiotic treatment (Labrie, et al., 2010). Therefore, it is necessary to understand the rates at which resistance to phage infection occurs.

In light of this, there could be therapeutic potential in treating a pathogen with both phage and antibiotics, potentially increasing the cost of resistance beyond the reasonable capability of the pathogen to overcome it.

The proposed project bridges medical microbiology, chemistry and bioinformatics, in order to perform the first assessment of the potential for combined phage-antibiotics therapy of pathogenic E. coli.

Branko

Ph.D. Research, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, 2012 - present

Master’s Research, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel 2006-2011.

Research Assistant, The Josephine Bay Paul Center for Comparative Molecular Biology and Evolution, MBL, Woods Hole, USA,Summer 2007.

Research Assistant, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, 2004-2006.