Projects Safety

Nissle 1917 was our choice of probiotic E. Coli strain for Oncoli. It is famous for its harmlessness in the body meaning that it can be taken orally with no adverse effects and continue its life within the boundaries of colon. Possible questions regarding our project is stated below:

1) Is there a possibility of probiotic bacteria causing systemic effects once inside our body?

Each member of our team was assigned to research the literature for the answer of this question before verifying our project. Despite assuming the answer we wanted to guarantee that Nissle would not harm our system. Many articles have been scanned and read on websites such as NCBI in which we did not encounter any stating that it is dangerous to the body. On the other hand, we contacted a popular scientist whom has released a lot of articles regarding his works with Nissle 1917. During our Skype chat, the same question was asked to Professor Szalay and his exact reply was ‘Nissle is absolutely harmless to the body. It has no side effects.’ He also mentioned that many years ago Nissle would be bought by many people in the form of powder for the amendment of their digestive tract illnesses.

2) Will the products produced by our Nissle 1917 bacteria such as nanofactory,apoptin, AI-2 change the balance in intestine? Will this result in high proliferation of bacteria in the intestine, and cause harm to the body?

1) The abundance of our bacteria will be minor compared to intestinal flora 2) Flora is constantly renewed for this reason there will be no accumulation of our substances 3)Is there a possibility of our bacteria exchanging genes with the bacterial flora which may result in a high degree of apoptin production? Maybe this situation is possible. But we can keep our plasmid from gene conjugation. For example maybe we can use Imperial College’s 2011 project: Gene Guard. Another solutions may be too. 4)TAT-Apoptin is able to enter healthy cells as well as cancer cells. Will this cause any harm as TAT-Apoptin may accumulate in the healthy cells?

It can be assumed that if any type of protein accumulates within a cells cytoplasm then it may cause harm as they are normally assigned to be digested. This may be a problem with TAT-Apoptin too. However if we encounter such an issue then we can solve it using degradable tag proteins as this will allow its digestion.