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April 7, 2018

Project Spotlight: CHARM—Enhancing Biofilm Degrading in Treatment and Prevention of Oral/Dental Diseases

CAMRIS is supporting the Craniofacial Health and Restorative Medicine (CHARM) directorate at the Naval Medical Research Unit – San Antonio (NAMRU-SA) to combat bacterial biofilms responsible for dental infections, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, which are becoming prevalent in the military. While treatments for such diseases exist, they often are time consuming and labor intensive and not advantageous in deployment circumstances. In response to this reality, the CAMRIS team at NAMRU-SA is devising a novel therapeutic approach to disperse biofilms more effectively.

The proposed solution to eradicate bacterial biofilms is to create a cocktail of bacteriophages that are genetically engineered to degrade biofilms capacity. These phages target, infect, and kill periodontal pathogens. This point is reached through a two-step process: identifying the phages to use, which includes in vitro biofilm assays and toxicity testing, and genetically engineering the phages. The projected outcome is to decrease the development of periodontal diseases as well as lay the foundation for future periodontal pathogen treatments.

Not only is the CAMRIS team working extensively to the phage engineering, but also a CAMRIS research scientist contributed heavily to the writing of the grant that won funding for the study.