Immune System

Nasal application of Staphylococcus lugdunensis for eradication of Staphylococcus aureus – a first-in-man microbiome intervention study

Institution: lnterfakultäres Institut für Mikrobiologie und lnfektions-medizin (IMIT), Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Applicant: Prof. Dr. Andreas Peschel
Funding line:
Translational Research

Project partner:

Dr. Meral Esen
Institut für Tropenmedizin (ITM), Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen


Antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens (ARBPs) such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are responsible for a large number of severe infections, which cause worldwide approximately 1.3 million deaths annually.
Apart from a few specific antibiotics, which have many drawbacks, the options for prevention and treatment of ARBP infections are very limited. Because most of these infections are caused by bacteria that were part of the gut or respiratory microbiome long before the outbreak, these bacterial reservoirs provide an excellent vector of attack to target specific pathogens. The local use of human commensal bacteria to decolonize specific pathogens represents a promising and innovative approach.
The bacterial strain S. lugdunensis IVK28 isolated from a healthy donor produces the antimicrobial compound lugdunin, a substance with high efficacy against S. aureus. Both in vitro and in vivo (nasal colonization) eradication of S. aureus by S. lugdunensis has been demonstrated. People whose microbiota is naturally colonized with S. lugdunensis are also six times less likely to be colonized by S. aureus. These research results show that IVK28 is able to prevent S. aureus colonization and to induce decolonization, preventing potential systemic infections.
The envisaged monocentric Phase I clinical trial will be conducted as part of the Cluster of Excellence of the University of Tübingen "Controlling Microbes to Fight Infection" in a collaboration of the Interfaculty Institute for Microbiology and Infection Medicine (IMIT) with the Clinical Trial Platform (CTP) of the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Travel Medicine and Human Parasitology (ITM). The focus is to develop a safe yet effective application method and concentration of human commensal bacteria to modify the nasal microbiome. The successful application of GMP-produced IVK28 opens up manifold further target and application areas for future interventional "Live Biotherapeutic Products" (LBPs).

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