Alexandra Petrovic Fabijan (Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Australia) and colleagues published their safe IV treatment of 13 critically-ill, septic patients with a GMP-prepared S. aureus phage cocktail in Nature Microbiology. Jon Iredell and Ruby Lin, who led the project, take us behind the scenes with two blog posts: Jon’s perspective as a physician on where phage therapy needs to go, and the team’s plans to build a phage biobank to supply matched phages to clinicians and researchers.
Vivek Mutalik (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab) and colleagues have published a new preprint on high-throughput mapping of the phage resistance landscape in E. coli. Through systematic, genome-wide loss-of-function and gain-of-function studies (14 phages, 2 host strains), they confirmed previously described phage receptors and uncovered new host factors that confer phage resistance.
Rogelio Rodriguez-Gonzalez (Georgia Institute of Technology) and colleagues published a new paper in mSystems on quantitative modeling of phage-antibiotic combination therapy. Their findings highlight the role of antibiotics and the immune system in promoting phage therapy effectiveness.
Mohammadali Khan Mirzaei (McGill University, Montreal, Canada) and colleagues have shown that phages isolated from growth-stunted Bangladeshi children are different from those in non-stunted children. They show these phages are infectious in vitro, and suggest they may contribute to the bacterial communities seen in the guts of stunted children.
Phages are extremely diverse at the genetic level, but not so much at the structural level… why? In an informative new review, Moïra Dion (Université Laval, Canada) and colleagues have explored phage diversity at the structural, genomic and community levels, and given an up-to-date analysis of the complex evolutionary relationships between phages.
Are there really 10^31 viral particles on Earth? Here’s a new minireview by A. R. Mushegian (National Science Foundation) on how that number (“The Hendrix Product”) was derived, and whether it needs to be revised.
Submit an abstract for the Monash-UCSD Bacteriophage Symposium (Mar 30, 2020, Melbourne, Australia).
ISME (International Symposium on Microbial Ecology, August 9-14, 2020, Cape Town, South Africa) will have a virus/phage session this year. Submit abstracts by March 6; propose round table topics by Feb 29!