Phage Refactory as a Drug Delivery System for Skin Microbiome


Estañol Cayuela, Pablo


The human skin microbiome is home to a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses and arthropods. A very delicate balance between the microorganisms colonizing our skin is essential for local immunity and barrier function. The dominant bacterial species found on adult skin are Propionibacterium, Corynebacterium and Staphylococcus. A dysbiosis, or imbalance, in the skin microbiome is linked to dermatologic diseases as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis or acne.
As for the latter, it is known that the main microorganism that causes it is Propionibacterium Acnes (P. acnes). For many years, the main therapies for the treatment of acne have been based on the use of antibiotics for an extended period of time. This long-term antibiotics treatment has resulted in high levels of resistance development by P. acnes. Therefore, it is necessary to study and use new therapies such as those based on the use of antimicrobial peptides, antibodies specifically designed or based on the use of bacteriophages.
Recently, interest has been focused on the use of therapies based on bacteriophages, viruses that specifically infect bacteria. There is still a lot of knowledge and studies to carry out but the authors have great expectations in this type of therapy due to its great potential.
The main objective of the laboratory is to develop an alternative therapy based on the use of bacteriophages of P. acnes. For this, in this study, bacteriophages are isolated from a culture with its host and genome extractions of these isolated bacteriophages are performed. In addition, four constructs (with the bacteriophage genome) are designed and assembled with the intention of being tested in an applicability test in two different cell-free systems. In spite of being able to extract the genome from the bacteriophages, the constructs themselves have not been able to be tested in the applicability test due to a possible bad assembly of these. More tests and, perhaps, new methodologies should be developed to achieve the proposed goals.



Leivar Rico, Pablo 
Güell, Marc  Knödlseder, Nastassia 


IQS SE - Undergraduate Program in Biotechnology