Alita Burmeister (Yale University) and colleagues published a new paper in PNAS describing how pleiotropy complicates trade-offs between phage resistance and antibiotic resistance for a bacterial host, which has implications for phage therapy and other phage applications.
Evgenii Rubalskii (Hannover Medical School) and colleagues published a new paper in Antibiotics presenting their findings on using phage therapy to treat critical infections related to cardiothoracic surgery. They showed that phages (in combination with antibiotics) led to eradication of bacterial infections in 7/8 patients, with no adverse side effects.
Sean Carim (UC Berkeley) and colleagues published a new preprint on the systematic discovery of pseudomonad genetic factors involved in tailocin sensitivity. Tailocins are essentially headless phages that likely evolved from defective prophages; check out Sean’s Twitter thread explaining tailocins and their work here!
Ruimin Gao (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and colleagues published a new paper in BMC Genomics showing a comparative genomic analysis of 142 bacteriophages infecting Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica (the full complement of the prophages available in public databases for this host). 90 of the genomes grouped into 17 clusters, while 52 had no close relationships to other phages.
For some interdisciplinary research news, Rachel Yoon Kyung Chang, Philip Chi Lip Kwok (University of Sydney) and colleagues published a new paper in Bioengineering and Translational Medicine on the stabilization mechanism of inhalable phage formulations. Their findings support the hypothesis that spray-dried phages are stabilized by immobilization inside a rigid glassy sugar matrix.
Mahboubeh Soleimani Sasani & Fereshteh Eftekhar (Shahid Beheshti University, Iran) published a new paper in Current Microbiology discussing the findings from their phage therapy study to treat lobar pneumonia infection induced by Klebsiella pneumoniae in mice. The saw that treatment with a single phage reduced bacterial counts in the lung by 7 logs.
Maciej Konopacki (West Pomeranian University of Technology, Poland) and colleagues published a new paper in Biochemical Engineering Journal describing PhageScore, a new approach for comparative evaluation of phage lytic activity.
Dmitry Antipov (Institute for Translational Biomedicine, Russia) and colleagues published a new paper in Bioinformatics on metaviralSPAdes, a tool for viral assembly from metagenomic data.
Ruoshi Zhang (Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany) and colleagues published a new preprint on SpacePHARER, a tool that predicts phage-host relationships by identifying phage genomes that match CRISPR spacers in genomic or metagenomic data.
Anti-CRISPRs are widespread among phages, but it’s been hard to screen for them. Jiawei Wang and colleagues at Monash University have developed an ensemble learning based predictor, PaCRISPR, to accurately identify anti-CRISPRs from protein datasets derived from genome and metagenome sequencing projects.
Check out how the US Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Chemical Biological Center is making use of a polymerized phage in biomanufacturing of BioCNFs, a black carbon material like charcoal that can help break up mustard gas and nerve agents. The CCDC has received seed funding to scale its phage-polymer production through DARPA’s Living Foundries Program.
Register for an upcoming virtual event on AMR and the requirement for a new business model for antimicrobials, hosted by members of European Parliament (June 4 at 12pm CET). Includes a talk by Jean-Paul Pirnay (Queen Astrid Military Hospital) on phages to combat AMR!
Check out these two new phage-related podcast episodes: Dr. Steffanie Strathdee, Co-Director of the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH) discusses AMR on “This Podcast Will Kill You”, and “The Bio Report” talks with Greg Merril, CEO of Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, about modernizing phage therapy.