Project Incharge: 
Dr. Sanjay Pal
Ms. Shalini Dinesh
Co-Project Incharge: 
Amrutha U
Aswathy Pillai
Reshma K. V
Aswathy Varma
Reshma A. S
Friday, January 1, 2016 to Tuesday, May 31, 2016
School of Biotechnology

Antimicrobial textiles is of high market value for their potential use in different sanitary causes such as hospital clothes, bed linens, wound healing bandage, sanitary napkins etc. We checked the literature to find out the possible solutions in this regard which ranged from impregnation of the textile material with natural products, dyes and nanomaterials. They are generally costly and very often ineffective against antibiotic resistant infections. Infection control of bacteriophage (phage) is almost 100 years old technology, still used in therapeutic purposes in East Europe and Russia. The rise in antimicrobial resistance has created recent surge of interest in phage again. We hypothesised that phages binding to textiles can infect and lyse the bacteria present on them thereby could prove cost effective solution to textile binding infections. As proof of principle, we isolated phage against clinical strain of E. coli MDR from sewage and estimated its titre to be 104/mL by plaque assay. The isolated phages were passed through a chromatographic column containing standard sanitary napkin textile and found to bind to the column even after rigorous wash by phosphate buffer saline (PBS) and 1M NaCl. Strongly bound phages were ultimately eluted with 3% DMSO. All the major eluted fractions were plated and plaques were collected for further characterization. The eluted phages were tested on their efficacy to reduce E. coli load in different layers of the sanitary pad by co-culturing them for 4 hrs. There was about 16% and 17% reduction in the phage treated outer (plastic) and middle layer (gelly) respectively; but the reduction in the inner layer was ambiguous, about 23%. The experiments need to be repeated for further confirmation. 

Thus we could isolate textile binding phages which could reduce the infection load proving our hypothesis. Further understanding and optimization of the procedures are needed to improve the efficiency.