Precise Photothermal Treatment of Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus Infection via Phage Lysin-Cell Binding Domain-Modified Gold Nanosheets

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2023 Feb 8;15(5):6514-6525. doi: 10.1021/acsami.2c20102. Epub 2023 Jan 25.


The increasing spread of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens poses a huge threat to global human health. Precise targeting of bacterial pathogens while avoiding collateral damage to healthy tissues has become the overriding goal for bacterial infection treatment. Inspired by the host specificity of bacteriophages, a biomimetic intelligent platform was designed for highly precise photothermal treatment herein. As proof-of-concept, the lysin cell-binding domain (CBD) from a newly discovered virulent methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) phage Z was applied to the functionalization of gold nanosheets. Our results demonstrated that the bionanocomposite gold particles (Au@PEG-CBDz) could be effectively delivered directly to MRSA and kill them effectively under near infrared irradiation in vitro, while displaying good in vivo biocompatibility. This work is the first to report the combination of phage lysin navigatory function with photothermal effect-induced bactericidal activity from Au nanosheets, providing a novel therapeutic mode for the precision treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; cell-binding domain; gold nanosheets; phage lysin; precise photothermal therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteriophages*
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Methicillin / pharmacology
  • Methicillin Resistance
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus*
  • Staphylococcal Infections* / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections* / microbiology


  • Methicillin
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Gold