Catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) are common, and they are hard to treat due to the formation of bacterial biofilms on the catheter material, as biofilms are highly tolerant to antibiotics. Despite various strategies aiming to reduce bacterial attachment to the catheter surface or inhibit/kill bacteria by antibacterial catheter coatings, yet no efficient strategy for preventing CAUTI has been developed. This project aims to develop a proof-of-concept methodology for embedding live probiotic bacteria into catheter silicone material, and subsequently test their viability and ability to reduce the attachment of pathogenic bacteria.
Probiotic bacteria inhibit the growth of pathogens and, in contrast to antibiotic treatment, do not select for antibiotic resistance development. The applied approach thus resembles that used by living organisms for protection against pathogens, e.g. in the digestive system. Here, the aim is not sterility, but the establishment of a robust community that prevents pathogen colonisation.
The project will be conducted in collaboration with the Danish Biotech company, Biomodics ApS, specialized in medical devices and material modification, and part of the work will be conducted here. Additionally, you will be working at Section of Microbiology at Nørre Campus in Copenhagen. We have a diverse lab environment with researchers focusing on various aspects of microbiology and a high level of interproject interactions.
The project tasks will include development of methods for probiotic embedment in catheter material. Embedded organisms will include members of lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus spp.) and the spore forming Bacillus subtilis. Activity measures will include pH and metabolic indicators. Model strains commonly identified in CAUTI will be used to assess the ability of the embedded bacteria to reduce pathogen attachment and biofilm formation.
Project type: Master
Location: Nørre Campus, Copenhagen & Biomodics ApS, Rødovre
Category: Biology, Chemistry & Natural Sciences + Medicine & Health
Education: Biology + Biochemistry + Molecular biomedicine + Biotechnology
For more information contact supervisor:
Associate professor Mette Burmølle, e-mail: Burmolle@bio.ku.dk