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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research » Research » Research Project #439491

Research Project: Precision Bacteriophage Identification Through Machine Learning for Mitigating Persistent Colonization of Shiga Toxin

Location: Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research

Project Number: 5030-31320-005-014-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Jan 1, 2021
End Date: Dec 31, 2023

Objective:
We plan to develop and evaluate a custom set of location specific bacteriophages, selected through machine learning, and tested in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) inoculated cattle.

Approach:
1. Develop a phage library and develop a plate-based activity assays to characterize the efficacy of various phages against a panel of E. coli O157 strains, including key E. coli O157 clades known to be persistent at a specific non-commercial research feed yard. 2. Predict and select phages with distinct activity profiles and test these in combination on feedlot E. coli O157 isolates in liquid culture assays looking for those that prevent bacterial outgrowth. Test activity of optimum phage combinations with E. coli O157 attached to bovine epithelial cells/2-D organoids as well as when cultured in bovine rectal mucus. 3. Test the efficacy of the phage cocktail in calves inoculated with E. coli strains known to persist in a specific non-commercial research feed yard.