Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Patients with cystic fibrosis suffer from chronic infection in their airways. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the most common bacteria found in their lungs and is associated with faster decline in lung function and earlier death. We recently discovered a bacteriophage (virus) that infects Pseudomonas, Pf bacteriophage. This virus turns sputum into a thick goop of molecules called a biofilm that makes infection very difficult to treat. In the laboratory we know that Pf phage makes biofilms more viscous, more adherent, and it helps protect Pseudomonas from both antibiotics and immune cells. I am currently studying the role of Pf phage in patients with cystic fibrosis. Pf phage is associated with chronic infection, older age and increased antibiotic resistance in patients with cystic fibrosis.