Sibongile Mtimka

PhD candidate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal

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Discovery of novel enzymes with potential for antimicrobial activity

The study is on finding novel alternatives to the looming antibiotic resistance crisis.  Phage lytic proteins have evolved to degrade bacterial cell wall components and are attractive alternative antibiotics. South African indigenous microbial diversity hotspots are a treasure trove for the discovery of novel enzymes. From this, we have identified candidate lytic proteins and have demonstrated preliminary biological activity against one of the ESKAPE (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter spp) pathogens.