C&T Round Up for June 2020

Issue 81 | June 26, 2020
6 min read
Capsid and Tail

Extra phage news from the month of June!

This week, we’re rounding up an extra helping of June 2020’s phage news and research.

What’s New

Kevin Forsberg, a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, was awarded a 1.5M NIAID New Innovators Award to pursue his research into how bacteria defend against viruses. This is the first year this award has been opened to postdocs!

Grant funding newsNewsPress Release

Ever wondered about phage abundance, diversity or geographic patterns of phage-host interactions in an urban setting like New York City? Kristen Gulino (New York University) and collaborators published a new paper in mSystems showing the intitial mapping of the New York City wastewater virome.

BiotechMetagenomicsMetaviromicsPhage genomicsResearch paper

Mihnea Mangalea and Breck Duerkop (University of Colorado School of Medicine) published a new minireview in Infection and Immunity on the physiological consequences of different phage resistance mechanisms, and how this understanding can impact antimicrobial strategies.

AMRAntibiotic resistancePhage TherapyResearch paper

Peter Voorhees (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) and colleagues published a new review in the Journal of Controlled Release on the challenges and opportunities for phage-based in situ microbiome engineering in the gut.

Engineered phagesEngineeringGut phageomeMicrobiome manipulationPhage TherapyResearch paper

Retrons are bacterial genetic elements comprised of a reverse transcriptase (RT) and a non-coding RNA, but their functions have been unknown for decades. Adi Millman (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel) and colleagues published a new preprint showing that retrons function in anti-phage defense! Paper | Adi breaks down the findings on Twitter

Phage defense systemsPhage-host interactionsResearch paper

Bacterial pathogens of fish cause major problems for fish farmers. Bernardo Veyrand‐Quirós (Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico) and colleagues published a new paper in the Journal of Applied Microbiology showing that phage therapy increased the hatching rate of longfin yellowtail eggs challenged with Photobacterium damselae.

AquacultureBiocontrolBiotechPhage TherapyResearch paper

Another story about phage application in marine aquaculture! Hyoun Joong Kim (Seoul National University) and colleagues published a new paper in Microorganisms showing the preventive effects of phage against pathogenic Vibrio coralliilyticus, which causes mass mortality of pacific oyster larvae.

BiotechPhage characterizationPhage-host interactionsResearch paper

Ayesha Hassim (University of Pretoria, South Africa) and colleagues published a new paper in Microorganisms showing that an “aggressively lytic” phage hampered isolation of Bacillus anthracis from samples collected from the carcass of a wildebeest suspected to have died of anthrax. This work shows the role phages can play in decreasing apparent bacterial concentrations in samples, and shows the impact phages may have on B. anthracis in the wild.

Phage characterizationPhage-host interactionsResearch paper

Lucy Furfaro (University of Western Australia) and colleagues published a new paper in PLOS ONE showing host range, morphological and genomic characterization of phages with activity against clinical Streptococcus agalactiae isolates from pregnant women and newborns.

AMRAntibiotic resistancePhage TherapyPhage characterizationPhage-host interactionsResearch paper

Matthew Brown (Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, North Carolina) and colleagues published a new paper in Viruses on the development and evaluation of a new phage-based MRSA diagnostic screen. The screen uses two luciferase reporter phages and detects MRSA from nasal swabs in six hours, even in the presence of 38 competing bacterial species.

AMRAntibiotic resistanceBiotechPhage TherapyPhage detectionResearch paper

Eric Sumrall (ETH Zurich) and colleagues published a new paper in Applied and Environmental Microbiology describing a novel phage protein tool kit that can be used for glycotyping and specific separation of Listeria monocytogenes

BiotechPhage TherapyPhage detectionResearch paper

Phages use holin proteins to lyse cells from within. Tanbir Ahammad (Miami Univeristy, Ohio) and colleagues have used continuous-wave electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to elucidate the structural dynamics and topology of phage Φ21’s holin within a lipid bilayer.

BiophysicsHolinPhage characterizationResearch paper

Md. Tanveer Hossain (Iwate University, Japan) and collaborators pubished an article in Viruses showing an evolution experiment where they adapt ssRNA phage Qβ to high temperatures. This adaptation occurred quickly, and did not lead to reduced phage fitness.

EvolutionResearch paper

Latest Jobs

My client, a US-based CRO, wants to hire a Scientist with phage experience to assist in their phage and other contract research programs. The successful candidate will provide lab-bench and technical support to the company’s contract research programs, especially taking a lead with phage-based programs. Contact Ben Burrowes at [email protected] for details.
FixedPhage (Glasgow, Scotland) is hiring a Technical Manager, who will be responsible for building and maintaining the company’s production facilities.
APC Microbiome Ireland is hiring two Research Assistants to work within its Gut Phageomics Laboratory.

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!

June 26, 2020

Seeking T2 & T6 phages

Jeremy Barr, Monash University

The Barr lab is looking for laboratory-adapted strains of T2 and T6 phage from different labs to examine variation between them and older stocks. If you have either of these phages and would be willing to send us an aliquot of blot that would be greatly appreciated. We would acknowledge receipt and use of phages in any upcoming manuscripts. Email: [email protected]

Seeking phages
June 26, 2020

Seeking P. aeruginosa phages in development

Camilo Barbosa

Hi @phagedirectory, I’m looking for phages against P. aeruginosa that are in the processes of getting FDA approval or are already approved for use in humans as therapy. Can you help me spreading the word or pointing me in the right direction? DM with +info, thx! — @cbarbosap88

Seeking phages
June 26, 2020

Save the date for PHAVES 2!

Phage Directory

PHAVES will continue on July 7th, most likely at 11:00 AM EDT (UTC-4) / 5:00 PM CEST (UTC+2), so save the date!

Details will be posted here closer to the date: https://seminars.phage.directory.

Check out the recap (and recording) of episode 1 here! Thanks to everyone who joined us for the kick-off, and we hope to see you on the 7th!

Virtual Event

C&T Round Up for June 2020

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Postdoctoral Researcher
Skills

Bioinformatics, Biotechnology, Molecular Biology, Phage isolation, Phage Therapy, Phage-host interactions, Teaching, Phage Genomics, RNA Sequencing

I am a Phage Biologist at heart with a strong technical background in Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Phage Genomics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology. I worked on the role of phage spanins in host lysis for my PhD under the guidance of Dr. Ryland Young at Texas A&M University. I am currently working on understanding the host-phage interactions between Staphylococcus aureus and phage K towards use in phage therapy applications.

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Phage microbiologist and co-founder of Phage Directory
Co-founder
Phage Directory, Atlanta, GA, United States

Jessica Sacher is a co-founder of Phage Directory and has a Ph.D in Microbiology and Biotechnology from the University of Alberta.

For Phage Directory, she takes care of the science, writing, communications, and business aspects.

In place of a feature article this week, we’re highlighting the three features we published this month. Be sure to check them out if you missed them, and let us know if you have thoughts, comments or questions! Reach us anytime by email or Slack!

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