This experiment was aimed at investigating the effects of MSa bacteriophages on such antibiotic-resistant bacteria as Staphylococcus aureus. At the very beginning, it was hypothesis that MSa bacteriophages would either destroy the bacterium or suppress its growth. We can say that the findings only partially support the initial hypothesis because this research has several limitations, in particular insufficient sampling and shortage of time.
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The experiment, which has been carried out, aims to test the use of phage therapy on an antibiotic-resistant bacterium, in particular on Staphylococcus aureus or golden cluster seed, as it is also known. This microorganism is known to survive the exposure to antibiotics (Lindsay, 240).
This pathogen can be the cause of septic arthritis and endocarditis (Fischetti, 224). Phage therapy is considered to be an alternative to antibiotics. It relies on the use of bacteriophage or those viruses, which destroys or slows down the growth of a pathogen, yet remains harmless to the beneficial bacteria and host body (Grath & Sinderen, 3).
One should note that this question has long been of great interest to many biologists. To prove this point, I can refer to the studies, conducted by Rosental and Bulov in early sixties and to the most recent research, made by a group of authors under the leadership under the direction of Petra Kramberger (2010).
The main objective of these studies was to develop a bacteriophage that would destroy this bacterium. During this experiment, I attempted to investigate the effects of MSa phages against Staphylococcus aureus. The initial hypothesis was that these MSa phages would destroy the cell of the bacterium. This hypothesis has been based on the recent research findings, this phages has a negative effect on Staphylococcus aureus (American Society for Microbiology, unpaged).
Materials and methods
In order to perform this experiment I took five samples of water, contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. Each of these samples was preserved in 50 Ml tubes. I have decided to work with five samples mostly because I wanted to determine whether the concentration of phages within the sample affects the bacteria in any way.
The study has been conducted within ten days. While observing the interplay of MSa phages and Staphylococcus aureus, I paid attention to possible growth suppression effects or signs of lysis, in other words, the dissolution of a cell. I have introduced different number of phage colonies in different samples. It would be better to illustrate this in table format:
|The sequence number of sample||Phage Concentration|
|Sample One||One Phage Colony|
|Sample Two||Two Phage Colonies|
|Sample Three||Three Phage Colonies|
|Sample Four||Four Phage Colonies|
|Sample Five||Five Phage Colonies|
Throughout the experiment, the temperature remained at 100 F. As I have noted before, I was primarily interested in the effects produced by bactriophages on Staphylococcus aureus.
On the whole, the experiment has yielded varying results. In the first two samples, I observed no signs of growth suppression or lysis. As far as the third and the fourth samples are concerned I have noticed 10 and 15 per cent decline of growth. Only in the fifth sample, there were signs of lysis, which means that bacteriophages attached themselves to the cell of bacteria. This findings should better be presented in the form of chart.
|The sequence number of sample||Outcome|
|Sample One||No signs of growth suppression|
|Sample Two||No signs of growth suppression|
|Sample Three||10 per cent growth decline|
|Sample Four||15 per cent growth decline|
|Sample Five||Sings of lysis|
Therefore, these findings indicate that the concentration of phage within the sample may affects the life of the bacterium.
Overall, it is possible to argue that the findings confirm the initial hypothesis and MSa phages can really produce a negative effect on Staphylococcus aureus. Furthermore, these results suggest that the amount of phage colonies is another factor that influences the interplay of the bacterium and bacteriophage.
Still, I have to admit that this research has several laminations: 1) first of all, the number of samples was too small and insufficient for biological research; 2) secondly, such studies are normally carried out within a period of time, which is longer than ten days;
It is quite probable that I will continue this research in the future, because as it seems to me that in biologists as well as medical workers will pay even more attention to phage therapy. The thing is that an increasing number of bacteria have developed resistive mechanisms toward antibiotics. Despite the efforts of pharmacologists who produce new antibiotics, such bacteria as Staphylococcus aureus still continue to survive.
Another reason why this area of research appears very promising to me is that antibiotics usually entail a great number of health complications while phage therapy is much safer for the patient. So, there is a great likelihood that such research will benefit the community. I am not sure that I will focus particularly on the study of Staphylococcus aureus, yet antibiotic-resistant bacteria are of great interest to me.
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American Society for Microbiology. “Phage Therapy May Control Staph Infections In Humans Including MRSA.” ScienceDaily, 22 August 2007. Web.
Fischetti. V. Gram-positive pathogens. New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell. 2006. Print
Grath Stephen & Sinderen Douvie. Bacteriophage: genetics and molecular biology. NY: Horizon Scientific Press. Print.
Kramberger Petra. Honour Richard, Herman Richard et al. Puriﬁcation of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophages VDX-10 on methacrylate monoliths. Journal of Virological Methods, 2010, p 1 -5. Available at: Lindsay Jodi. Staphylococcus: molecular genetics. NY: Horizon Scientific Press. 2008. Print.
Rosendal K. and Bulow. P Temperate Phages Influencing Lipase Production by Staphylococcus Aureus. Journal of General Microbiology. 1965. Journal of General Microbiology. 41 (1965), 349-356.
Simon, E.J., J.B. Reece, and J.L. Dickey. Campbell Essential Biology. 4th edition. Boston: Benjamin Cummings, 2010.
Versalovic James. & Wilson M. Therapeutic microbiology: probiotics and related strategies. ASM Press, 2008. Print.