C&T Round Up for June 2021

Issue 132 | June 25, 2021
9 min read
Capsid and Tail

This week, we’re highlighting the three feature articles we published in June: a guest blog post by David Sáez and Lorenzo Corsini on breeding better phages, a recap of a clinical phage therapy case presented in PHAVES by Dr. Laura Damioli and Dr. Greg Canfield, and a recap of the Viral Host Range database presented in PHAVES by Quentin Lamy-Besnier.

Urgent June 22, 2021

Urgent need for Mycobacterium abscessus phages for a patient

Phage Therapy

We are urgently seeking Mycobacterium abscessus (smooth colony) phages for a patient in the USA.

Ways to help at this stage:

  • By sending your phages for testing on the patient’s strain
  • By receiving the strain and testing your phages
  • By receiving the strain and using it to search for new phages against the organism
  • By helping spread the word about this request
  • By providing us with names/email addresses of labs you think we should contact

Please email [email protected] if you can help in any way, or if you would like further details/clarification.

Let’s make a difference,
Phage Directory

What’s New

Aleksandra Petrovic Fabijan (Westmead Institute for Medical Research) and colleagues published a preprint on L-form switching in pathogenic Escherichia coli. They demonstrated that the osmotically fragile L-form is highly tolerant of oxidative stress, powerful antibiotics, and phages. They also found that L-form switching is a common response to cell wall-targeting antibiotics and lytic phages.

Antibiotic resistanceL-formsPhage resistancePreprint

Rodrigo Ibarra-Chávez (University of Copenhagen) and colleagues published a review in FEMS on emerging applications of phage satellites in biotechnology. They found phage satellites exploit phages to ensure their own propagation and horizontal transfer into new bacterial hosts. The article reviews parasite-host dynamics of the known phage satellites, their genomic organization, and hijacking mechanisms, along with diverse biotech applications.

BiotechPhage SatellitesResearch paper

Michael Blazanin and Paul Turner (Yale University) published a preprint in EcoEvoRxiv on the role of community context in shaping bacteria-phage ecology and evolution. They synthesized the emerging body of bacteria-phage experiments in medium-complexity communities, and found that community context (the presence of other bacterial species) sometimes has zero effect on phage-host evolution, and other times constrains phage-host coevolutionary dynamics. They highlight that this area is full of unanswered questions ready for further investigations.

Bacteria-phage evolutionPreprintViral ecology

Kristopher Kieft (University of Wisconsin–Madison) and colleagues published a research article in Nature Communications on the ecology of inorganic sulfur auxiliary metabolism in widespread phages. They identified 191 phages encoding 227 auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) for the oxidation of sulfur and thiosulfate. Profiling of AMGs suggested significant contributions by phages to sulfur and thiosulfate oxidation. The study provides fundamental insights into the distribution, diversity, and ecology of phage auxiliary metabolism associated with sulfur.

AMGsResearch paper

Stephen Abedon (Ohio State University, USA) and colleagues published an opinion article in Viruses on improving phage-biofilm in vitro experimentation. They discuss current issues and suggest improvements in the design, interpretation and reporting of phage-biofilm in vitro experiments.

BiofilmsImproved methodologyOpinionPhagesResearch paper

Latest Jobs

Post Doc
APC Microbiome (Cork, Ireland) is hiring a postdoc to work on a new project investigating the role of phages in horizontal gene transfer in the human gut microbiome.
Locus Biosciences (Raleigh, North Carolina), a clinical stage phage-based biotech company, is hiring a Laboratory Animal Technician to assist with the daily care of research animals housed within the laboratory animal facility.

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!

Evergreen Logo

Evergreen is coming and we are all-in!

Sign up here to be part of the longest running phage meeting.

Phagebiotics Research Foundation and Phage Directory present the 24th biennial Evergreen International Phage Meeting August 2-5th 2021. This year you can participate in person or virtually. The meeting will include primary session talks, live and virtual poster sessions, daily flash talks and Q&A for all participants.

Please submit abstracts by July 2nd if you would like to be considered for oral presentations.

We would love to see your posters! Please submit by July 16th.

As always, we look forward to hearing about all the exciting phage work going on worldwide!


Recent updates to C&T guest writing process!

Thanks to our super engaged community of phage enthusiasts (all of you!) we are outgrowing our old ways of getting each Capsid & Tail feature ready the week or two before it comes out. So we’re updating how we handle guest blog submissions!

We will now be accepting blog submissions on a quarterly basis; so keep an eye on these four deadlines throughout the year if you’re thinking of contributing:

  • For consideration for publication between Oct-Dec, send us your finished draft by Sept 1.
  • For Jan-Mar, send us your draft by Dec 1.
  • For Apr-June, send us your draft by Mar 1.
  • For July-Sept, send us your draft by June 1.

Submissions will be published in an approximately first-come, first-served basis, depending on any editing / back-and-forth that may be required.

Interested in contributing a blog post about your phage work (or your phage initiative) to C&T? Check out our Guest Writer Guide!

If you have feedback about our process, or what we publish (or should publish more of!), please email [email protected] — we’d love to hear from you!

Thanks to Stephanie Lynch for her help in rethinking our system, and for her help coordinating C&T submissions from here on out!

Phage DirectoryUpdate

Dear current & future members of ISVM (International Society for Viruses of Microorganisms)

Please take 4 min to fill out this survey to keep your membership active or to join our society. Stay up-to-date with exciting events that await the Viruses of Microbes community! And don’t forget, basic membership is free!

ISVMMembershipScientific SocietyViruses of microbes

PHAVES #19 will be a seminar by Dr. Ameneh Khatami, who is a senior lecturer in Child and Adolescent Health for the University of Sydney, based at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where she also works as a paediatric infectious diseases physician.

Ameneh’s talk is entitled ‘Phage therapy for difficult-to-treat infections in children’, and will take place July 1, 9 AM Sydney time (June 30, 4 PM Pacific Time).

Small group networking to follow! Register here for this event or future PHAVES events!

Virtual EventPHAVESPhage Therapy

Society for Bacteriophage Research and Therapy, India is organizing the 2nd International Conference on Bacteriophage Research on July 22-24, 2021. The aim of this conference is to bring researchers, professors, and university students from both academia and industry together to share new knowledge and foster and strengthen collaboration.

Call for Abstracts:
SBRT invites the submission of papers, presentations, and posters for the conference. The selected abstract/paper will be published in the International Journal of Bacteriophage Research for free.

Call for awards:

  1. Lifetime achievement awards in the field of bacteriophage
  2. Young scientist awards in the field of bacteriophage under different fields (≤50 Years)
  3. Outstanding scientist awards
  4. Best oral presentation awards
  5. Best poster presentation awards
Virtual EventConference

We warmly invite you to attend our 11th annual international bacteriophage conference “Phages 2021” – the longest running phage conferences series in Europe - which will be held virtually, via Zoom or equivalent, on 07th-08th September 2021. The conference will include oral presentations by established phage scientists, emerging researchers in an Early Career Researchers (ECR) symposium as a part of the main agenda, as well as flash talks by poster presenters (see confirmed speakers).

Up to 30% early registration discount available until 28th June 2021. Fees for students start at as low as £50.

ConferenceVirtual Event

C&T Round Up for June 2021

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Postdoctoral Researcher
Iredell Lab, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Sydney, Australia, Phage Australia

Stephanie is a postdoctoral researcher for the Iredell Group at Westmead Institute for Medical Research, NSW. Her project focuses on phage therapy for compassionate human cases (as part of Phage Australia), with a particular interest in Staphylococcal phages. In 2021, Stephanie completed her thesis titled ‘Exploring phage therapy for Staphylococcus pseudintermedius infections in canines’. Steph is always willing to chat about phage research and would like to connect with phage biotech companies.

In this month’s Capsid & Tail Monthly Round Up issue, we’re highlighting the three feature articles we published in June. 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!

C&T Throwback!

There’s lots of great phage stuff in the C&T archive! Remember this article on getting high school students into phage labs by Karen Adler?

Many thanks to Atif Khan for finding and summarizing this week’s phage news, jobs and community posts!

Capsid & Tail

Follow Capsid & Tail, the periodical that reports the latest news from the phage therapy and research community.

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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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