Development of CRSIPR-Cas13a-based antimicrobials capable of sequence-specific killing of target bacteria
Aa Haeruman Azam,
José R Penadés,
Posted 17 Oct 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/808741
Posted 17 Oct 2019
Emergence of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria is an increasingly serious threat to global health, necessitating the development of innovative antimicrobials. We established a series of CRISPR-Cas13a-based antibacterial nucleocapsid, termed CapsidCas13a(s), capable of sequence-specific killing of carbapenem-resistant Escherichia coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus through promiscuous RNA cleavage after recognizing corresponding antimicrobial resistance genes. CapsidCas13a constructs were generated by packaging CRISPR-Cas13a into a bacteriophage capsid to target antimicrobial resistance genes. Contrary to Cas9-based antimicrobials that lack bacterial killing capacity when the target genes are located on a plasmid, the CapsidCas13a(s) exhibited strong bacterial killing activities upon recognizing target genes regardless of their location. The antimicrobials’ treatment efficacy was confirmed using a Galleria mellonella larvae model. Further, we demonstrated that the CapsidCas13a(s) can assist in bacterial gene detection without employing nucleic acid amplification and optical devices.
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