Fighting Infectious Diseases with Synthetic Biology by Dr. Hubert S. Bernauer

27 Oct 2017

Dramatic misuse of antibiotics by doctors and as supplement in animal breeding has raised a great challenge of our time: antibiotic resistance. Since Alexander Flemming’s discovery of penicillin, a vast number of patients suffering from infectious diseases have been saved. But with the rise of antibiotic resistance, we face danger to both our as well as animal health.

MycoSynVac is an EU funded project devoted to combating infections caused by Mycoplasma, a small and silent bacteria, virtually resistant to all antibiotic interventions. MycoSynVac seeks to re-engineer Mycoplasma into its own non-pathogenic and prophylactic vaccine. As the German partner in the project, ATG:biosynthetics, led by Dr. Hubert S. Bernauer, is in charge of identifying and selecting the best protective antigens, when it comes to several different Mycoplasma infections (in different species).

The planned real application of vaccines for poultry, cows and pigs presents a topic that is not only about modern biotechnology, but also has repercussions on animal health and health in general and touches on a variety of dimensions (ethical, economic, safety-related, etc.).