From September 2009
Project Leader(s): Ashley Chessher; Dr Stach
Staff: Liam Good
Due to the extensive use of antibiotics over the past decades, bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant enterocci (VRE) and multidrug-resistant (XDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis have evolved by developing an array of resistance mechanisms rendering many clinical antibiotics ineffective. With a decreasing antibiotic arsenal, there is an urgent need to discover and develop new antibiotics that can negate bacterial resistance. A central requirement of discovering new antibiotics is that they possess a novel mode of action, which is often determined by the type of cellular component targeted. Potential new targets can be found by examining essential bacterial genes, in terms of their stringency (degree of requirement for cell viability). This project aims to assess the stringency of candidate genes, using an RNA silencing approach, which will be validated by quantification of cellular RNA and protein. Determining stringently required targets would provide the necessary prerequisite for developing hypersensitive target based whole cell screening assays, for the detection of novel antimicrobial products from natural sources such as marine bacteria.
Dr James Stach