Therapeutic potential of Bacillus phage lysin PlyB in ocular infections

Md Huzzatul Mursalin, Roger Astley, Phillip S. Coburn, Eddy Bagaruka, Jonathan J. Hunt, Vincent A. Fischetti, Michelle C. Callegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Bacteriophage lytic enzymes (i.e., phage lysins) are a trending alternative for general antibiotics to combat growing antimicrobial resistance. Gram-positive Bacillus cereus causes one of the most severe forms of intraocular infection, often resulting in complete vision loss. It is an inherently β-lactamase-resistant organism that is highly inflammogenicin the eye, and antibiotics are not often beneficialas the sole therapeutic option for these blinding infections. The use of phage lysins as a treatment for B. cereus ocular infection has never been tested or reported. In this study, the phage lysin PlyB was tested in vitro, demonstrating rapid killing of vegetative B. cereus but not its spores. PlyB was also highly group specificand effectivelykilled the bacteria in various bacterial growth conditions, including ex vivo rabbit vitreous (Vit). Furthermore, PlyB demonstrated no cytotoxic or hemolytic activity toward human retinal cells or erythrocytes and did not trigger innate activation. In in vivo therapeutic experiments, PlyB was effectivein killing B. cereus when administered intravitreally in an experimental endophthalmitis model and topically in an experimental keratitis model. In both models of ocular infection, the effectivebactericidal property of PlyB prevented pathological damage to ocular tissues. Thus, PlyB was found to be safe and effectivein killing B. cereus in the eye, greatly improving an otherwise devastating outcome. Overall, this study demonstrates that PlyB is a promising therapeutic option for B. cereus eye infections.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacillus
  • bacteriophage lysin
  • endophthalmitis
  • keratitis
  • ocular infection


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