All good things come in fours: a sneak peek at the 4th annual Bacteriophage Therapy Summit

Issue 162 | February 4, 2022
9 min read
Capsid and Tail

From Feb 14th-16th, the who’s who of the phage world is getting together to discuss everything from isolating phages from hospital wastewater to the role of the immune system in phage therapy!

This week, University of Vienna MSc student Jessica Neubauer explains why you should spend your Valentine’s day cultivating your love of phages at the upcoming (virtual) Bacteriophage Therapy Summit!

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The 4th Bacteriophage Therapy Summit, February 14-16, 2022 (online) is the definitive gathering for global phage experts. Focusing on human health and disease, the 4th Bacteriophage Therapy Summit is returning to help you advance your phage-based therapies through clinical development and commercialization beyond compassionate use.

For 10% off, use code PHAGE10.

What’s New

New phage therapy center: The ‘Center for Phage Biology and Therapy at Yale’ has been formally launched at Yale University to advance phage biology understanding, translate advancements into the clinic and provide training & education. Check out their new website to learn more!

NewsPhage Therapy

Minireview: Considerations for the use of phage therapy in clinical practice, by Gina Suh et al., on behalf of the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group.

Phage TherapyReview

Paper: Assessment of the microbiome during bacteriophage therapy in combination with systemic antibiotics to treat a case of staphylococcal device infection, by Andre Mu et al.

MicrobiomePhage TherapyPhage-antibiotic synergy

Paper: Degradation of host translational machinery drives tRNA acquisition in viruses, by Joy Y. Yang et al.

Phage biologyResearch paper

Paper: Phage co-transport with hyphal-riding bacteria fuels bacterial invasion in a water-unsaturated microbial model system, by Xin You et al.

Phage biologyResearch paper

Latest Jobs

Folium Science is seeking a Phage Scientist to specialize in developing delivery solutions for their products. The ideal candidate would have knowledge of phage biology and host-pathogen interactions. In addition, the candidate would have excellent skills in molecular biology and synthetic biology, and ideally, experience in phage engineering and/or bacterial genome editing. Contact: [email protected]
Post Doc
Postdoc: Join the MICALIS Institute in Jouy-en-Josas, a south-east suburb of Paris, to explore the origin of spontaneous mutations in phages and bacteria.

Community Board

Anyone can post a message to the phage community — and it could be anything from collaboration requests, post-doc searches, sequencing help — just ask!

Hello! We are working on a Phage engineering project in Lisa Morici, PhD’s lab at Tulane University. We are looking for any sequenced or unsequenced phage for ATCC 19606 and 17978 (Lytic preferred) or any other sequenced phage for Acinetobacter baumannii (w/Bacteria) that anyone is willing to share with us. Thanks! Please contact me at [email protected].

Seeking phage for research

Viruses of Microbes 2022 (taking place in-person in Guimarães, Portugal this July!) registration and abstract submission are open!

The conference is targeted to a wide-ranging audience, interested in both the fundamental and applied aspects of virus exploitation, and is thus organized into the following topics:

  • Ecology and evolution of microbial viruses
  • Virus structures and function
  • Virus-host interaction: overcoming cell barriers
  • Virus-host interaction: molecular mechanisms
  • Virus-host interaction: host defence and viral evasion mechanisms
  • Agro-food, veterinary and environmental biotechnology applications
  • Biotechnology applications in health care
  • Current state and latest developments of phage therapy

This is the flagship conference of the ISVM — definitely not to be missed!

ConferenceISVMViruses of Microbes

Rainn Wilson (Dwight from ‘The Office’) is hosting a phage therapy event!!

When: Tuesday Feb 8th at 4pm PT / 7pm ET. This is to discuss the recent documentary, Salt in My Soul, which follows Mallory Smith’s life with cystic fibrosis and attempts to get phage therapy.

Panelists will be Will Battersby, director of the film, as well as Mallory’s mother Diane Shader Smith, brother Micah Smith, and friend Maya Humes, as well as phage therapy scientist Ben Chan, Steffanie Strathdee, and Gunnar Esiason, a cystic fibrosis patient advocate.

Register here for this free online event!.

And if you haven’t seen the film yet, watch it here!

DocumentaryPhage TherapyVirtual Event

ESGNTA is a new study group of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) dedicated to non-traditional antimicrobials including phage.

People interested in joining the Executive Committee (2022-24 term) can now be nominated. ESGNTA members are eligible and can propose nominations, can nominate other members or support members that have been already nominated.

Nomination phase: 10/01/2022 - 14/02/2022
Election phase: 03/03/2022 - 17/03/2022
New Executive Committee takes office at ECCMID 2022.

More info in the ISVM newsletter.

ElectionISVMScientific Society

The first ESGNTA Online Course titled: “Personalised Phage Therapy: Basic Principles of Monitoring and Treatment”, will take place virtually on the 7-10th of June 2022.

It will include four sessions with cutting-edge scientific talks in the field of personalised phage therapy, including (1) therapeutic monitoring, (2) immune response to bacteriophages, (3) formulation and administration of bacteriophages for therapy, and (4) current state and prospects of oral phage therapy.

Register here by June 1 2022.

€50 for ESCMID members and €100 for non-members

Online coursePhage Therapy

NIAID’s Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Preclinical Services for Biopharmaceutical Product Development is now live. Note: Individual NIAID staff cannot provide any additional information while the solicitation is open—please review the solicitation carefully and address any questions to the contacts listed in the solicitation link above. — Contributed by Joe Campbell, NIAID

NIHPreclinical servicesProduct development

All good things come in fours: a sneak peek at the 4th annual Bacteriophage Therapy Summit

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MSc Student
Böttcher Lab, University of Vienna
Twitter @biolojess

Molecular Biology, Teaching, Undergraduate research

Hello Phage World!
I’m Jess, a German master’s student at the University of Vienna. I’m currently working under Prof. Dr. Thomas Böttcher, poking bacteria until their prophages wake up.

Whoever said “All good things come in threes” clearly hasn’t seen the speaker line-up for this year’s Bacteriophage Therapy Summit. For the 4th time, the phage community will get together to learn about and discuss the hot new topics of clinical bacteriophage research and commercialization.

Between talks given by Sabrina Green of Baylor College, Tobi Nagel of Phages for Global Health, and Saima Aslam of IPATH, it’s hard to decide what to be most excited about. Will it be Valeria Gigante enlightening us about the WHO’s Perspective on Phage Therapies? Or maybe Iddo Weiner showing us how to best predict a phage’s host range from genomic data?

During several Q&A and networking sessions throughout the conference, everyone will get the chance to get to know each other (perfect for newbies like me!) and ask questions that have been burning in their minds.

No matter what your “must-attend” talks are, the one thing that should be marked with a bright red heart in everyone’s calendars are the pre-conference workshops on Monday the 14th! This year on Valentine’s Day, all my love will be dedicated to phages.

Beyond (human) phage therapy

Under the theme of “Identifying & Understanding Commercial Opportunity for Phage-Application Beyond Human Health”, Workshop A explores how phages could revolutionize pathogen control in aquaculture and agriculture, and why we should develop phage cocktails for animals. Given the way COVID has dominated our lives for the last two years, it is only appropriate to kick the workshop off with a talk about phage-based ways to catch and kill COVID-19.

A focus on modified phages and lysins

After a mealtime break, it is time to dive back in, this time with Workshop B, “Harnessing the Potential of Modified Phages & Phage Lysins”. There will be talks about how to tackle some of the most notorious pathogens such as Acinetobacter baumannii and other multidrug-resistant bacteria.

While it might be tempting to invest all your Valentine’s Day love on Monday, this is only the start, so save some passion for Tuesday and Wednesday!

Regulatory hurdles and solutions

On Tuesday, we will take a break from the lab bench and explore the regulatory hurdles that accompany phage therapy with talks given by Cara Fiore (FDA Office of Vaccines Research & Review), Edward Burd (BiomX), and Valeria Gigante (World Health Organization).

Zooming out globally: phage work in resource-limited settings

If the current pandemic taught us anything, it is that health is a global issue. Therefore, we will look at phages in a global setting, from phage isolation from hospital wastewater in the Philippines, phage banks across Asia and Africa to building infrastructure for phage therapy in resource-limited settings.

Phage meets the human body

We round off the day with talks about the efficiency of phage cocktails against Enterococcus, the importance of selecting the right phage for the job, and the immune system’s role in phage therapy.

A focus on formulation

Ringing in the last day, are Danish Malik, Natalie Ma, and Mikael Skurnik under the topic “Formulating & Manufacturing Bacteriophages for Commercial Use”, discussing phages in cosmetics and more.

Clinical close-ups

This session is followed by a closer look at using phages to treat antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections and the potential of using phages against prosthetic joint infections.

Lessons learned from compassionate use

Currently, phage therapy is almost exclusively employed for compassionate use, so what are the lessons we can and should learn from that? We will hear from experts from Baylor, the Phage Therapy Centre in Georgia, and the Mayo Clinic.

Letting the genetic code be our guide

Last, but by no means least, we will round off the Bacteriophage Therapy Summit by deciphering the genetic code of our favourite little viruses and how this can help determine a phage’s host range and select the appropriate phage for the job.

See you there!

As you can see, there is something for everyone, so keep your schedule clear from February 14th to 16th! Personally, I absolutely can’t wait to meet all of you there and learn many new and exciting phings! (“Typo” is intentional)!

Still need to register? No problem

Register here for the 4th Bacteriophage Therapy Summit, February 14-16, 2022 (online).

For 10% off, use code PHAGE10.

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In collaboration with

Mary Ann Liebert PHAGE

Supported by

Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

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