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CORDIS - Risultati della ricerca dell’UE

Bacterial chassis for treating ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MycoVAP (Bacterial chassis for treating ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP))

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2019-01-01 al 2020-06-30

Among 65-80% of human infections are associated to biofilms, especially in respiratory infections or those associated with catheters like the endotracheal tubes inserted to critical care patients in need of mechanic ventilation. Endotracheal tube (ETT) biofilms represent a source of difficult to treat and potentially resistant microorganisms and are related to the development of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). VAP is the most common hospital-acquired infection (HAI) among adult patients in intensive care units (ICUs), with frequencies ranging from 15-45%. Moreover, it is the second most common HAI after blood stream infection in the paediatric age group, accounting for about 20% of all HAIs in the paediatric intensive care units (PICUs). VAP is associated with increased hospital morbidity; mortality; duration of hospitalization by an average of 7-9 days per patient; and consequently health care costs.
The basic idea put forward in this ERC-PoC was to use an engineered bacterial chassis based on the genome-reduced bacterium, M. pneumoniae, to dissolve and remove bacterial biofilms in human lungs that cannot be treated successfully with conventional therapy, with special focus on ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP). Within the field of infectious diseases and conditions, innovative strategies like the one underlying this PoC will allow to reduce or to do without antibiotic treatment (as biofilms protect the bacteria from antibiotics and the host immune system), reducing the risk of resistance, which is caused by the sustained use of antibiotics when trying to fight such difficult to manage diseases and is a major threat for infectious diseases.

With the EU funding of this project we have demonstrated that our engineered bacteria can be safelya dministered to mice lungs without causing any lesions and reminaining in the lung for up to four days. We have shown that this engineered bacterial chassis can secrete enzymes with antibiofilm and antibacterial activity agains S. aureus and P. aerugynosa and that weh co-administered with P. aeruguynosa it significantly decrease the amount of the pathogenic bacteria in the mice lungs

Based on our data in March 2020 we have incorporated a start-up company with 2 million seed funding. This company called PULMOBIOTICS ( will use its technology to discover and develop novel treatments and vaccines for respiratory diseases, which are among the most common causes of severe illness and death worldwide.