Xylencer is an enhanced bacteriophage therapy, designed to cure Xylella fastidiosa infection.
How XYLENCER works
Xylencer revolves around improving bacteriophage therapy, an alternative method to antibiotics for curing infections. Bacteriophages, often just called phages, are the natural enemies of bacteria. They specifically target a subset of bacteria, posing no harm to other bacteria, plants or us humans. They depend on these specific bacteria to live and reproduce. When a phage infects a bacterial cell, it uses the bacterium to create many copies of itself, killing the bacterium in the process. If there are no susceptible bacteria present, the phages will degrade over time. We believe in phage therapy, because it allows us to specifically target only the pathogenic bacteria, not harming other form of life in the process.
Combatting Xyllela fastidiosa is not achieved by a catch-all solution. It requires overcoming a multitude of different problems. During development, we noticed that these problems and their solutions revolved around four reoccurring themes, that we call: "the four pillars of Xylencer". Below we will introduce you to these four pillars.
Before we can get to curing a disease, we first need to diagnose the disease. For X. fastidiosa this can be quite problematic as a large portion of plants never show symptoms or show symptoms very late. In this pillar, we want to improve detection by automating it. This will be achieved by developing a plant mimic able to detect X. fastidiosa in the insects that spread the pathogen.To Detectionnavigate_next
Phage therapy itself might be revolutionary, but the methods that are used to deliver it are not. Currently, the Achilles heel of phage therapy is the low efficiency of delivery. In this pillar, we revolutionize delivery with the introduction of the phage delivery bacterium (PDB). This bacterium shields the phages from the environment and delivers the cure exactly to the infected regions of the plant.To Deliverynavigate_next
In the remediation pillar, we move beyond the means of the phage and involve the plant's immune system in the battle against X. fastidiosa. X. fastidiosa cleverly hides from the plant's immune system, but by releasing an immune activator upon initial cell lysis, the location of the pathogen is revealed to the plant's immune system, enabling it to help in the fight against the pathogen.To Remediationnavigate_next
So far, all our solutions have been limited to plants that have to be manually injected with our cure. However, X. fastidiosa can avoid treatment by hiding in asymptomatic plants, that are impossible to reach with a manually applied cure. In this final pillar, we enable the phage to spread with the same insect vectors as X. fastidiosa. This allows our therapy to reach all infected plants and silence X. fastidiosa once and for all.To Spreadnavigate_next
Welcome To Our Wiki!
This button will be your trusty companion on your journey. You can click this button to open up a menu of all sections of the current page.