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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.