"The primary aim of this project is to develop novel bacteriophage based strategies to combat Proteus mirabilis catheter associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI), a prevalent health-care associated infection for which there are currently no effective countermeasures. Indwelling urethral catheters (IUC) are the most commonly deployed medical devices, it is estimated that ~100 million IUC are used annually in healthcare systems globally, which equates to ~190 catheterisations per minute. However, IUC are vulnerable to infection, undermining their utility, jeopardising patient welfare and posing a substantial economic burden on healthcare systems. Over 40% of CAUTIs may be attributed to P. mirabilis, which poses particular problems in the care of catheterised patients. P. mirabilis causes encrustation and blockage of catheters, leading to serious complications such as pyelonephritis, septicaemia and shock. It is difficult to eliminate from the catheterised urinary tract, even after the catheter is removed, and often causes chronic infection recalcitrant to conventional antibiotic therapy. Given the prolific use of IUC and corresponding prevalence of CAUTIs in healthcare systems across the world, development of bacteriophage based strategies for control of CAUTIs would open a niche in a global market that is projected to reach an annual value of €2 billion by 2015."
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