This project is investigating the use of CRISPR-Cas9 biotechnology to remove antibiotic resistance genes from bacterial communities. With this methodology resistance genes can be removed from a range of diverse bacteria, stopping the widespread dispersal of antibiotic resistance within a bacterial community.
Antibiotic resistance has been named as one of the key problems that healthcare is facing, with many drugs now ineffective against bacterial pathogens. CRISPR-Cas9 has shown to be a promising approach to remove genes carried on plasmids from bacterial populations. Therefore, using CRISPR-Cas9 to specifically remove resistance genes can be a powerful method to counteract antibiotic resistance and could be part of the solution to keep antibiotics working.
Team members are working on designing a CRISPR-Cas9 delivery vector, moving on to carry out experiments of antibiotic resistance plasmid removal from simple artificial communities.