Sébastien Quetant is a pulmonologist specialized in cystic fibrosis at the
University Hospital (CHUGA). He agreed to meet with us to give us his opinion on
discussed with him the safety of our biotreatment. With him we developed a
engineered E. coli that would prevent it from growing without the presence
aeruginosa’s biofilm. His advises and guidance allowed us to improve the
project. He comforted us in our project as he was very enthusiastic about a
that would allow to lower the frequency and length of antibiotic treatments.
During our meeting with the Dr. QUETANT, he suggested that we assist to his meetings with cystic fibrosis patient so we could get a clear idea of the needs and living conditions of the patients. Taking part in those medical appointments gave us a clear view of the context we were trying to implement our device into. It gave us a clear view of the medical burden they carry and the width of the cystic fibrosis spectrum. As antibiotics are the daily life of these patients, it shown us that our project could indeed be helpful. This experience has put into light the interests and the fallouts of our project and encouraged us to further improve and adapt our biotreatment.
To further understand how to implement our biotreatment, we decided to make the most of the medical appointments with the cystic fibrosis patients and ask them if they were interested to answer to a survey on our project. So, we interview 6 patients on their feelings concerning our project. The patients had different degrees of severity of the disease and were from 19 to 39 years old. The mean was of 30 years old.
You can find here the form filled in by the patients. (pdf format)
The outcome of this survey showed us that the patients were all open to take alternative treatments to antibiotics. And most of them would be agreeing to take our biotreatment. However, we saw a general trend of reticence or ignorance concerning genetically modified organisms.
As we got a clinical opinion from a cystic fibrosis specialist, we decided to also ask someone more specialized in infectiology. Therefore, we contacted a pneumology student and PhD in infectiology Geoffroy Mery to ask for his impressions and thoughts on our project. He confirmed Dr. Quetant’s sayings, that it could be greatly beneficial to lower the doses and frequencies of antibiotic treatments to reduce the development of resistances in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. However, he indicated to us that it could be a shame to limit our system to only cystic fibrosis context. As developing an alternative treatment to antibiotics in only one context for such an adaptive bacteria could not solve the problem of apparition of resistances. Moreover, as Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most problematic pathogens in nosocomial diseases and cystic fibrosis patients are frequently hospitalized it might not be sufficient to improve their life conditions. Consequently, we decided to adapt our biotreatment for it to work in different infection sites of the pathogen. Expanding the target infections of our engineered E. coli should allow this treatment to have a wider effect on the antibiotic resistances sanitary problem. To adapt our bacteria to variant environments we also improved our testing bench for it to be able to mimic any of them.