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Cyanophages play an important role in controlling the abundance of their hosts, which are globally significant populations of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus. In a new paper published in Viruses, Emily Dart (Clark University) and colleauges carried out quantitative analyses of T4-like cyanophage community structure and dynamics in combination with host community analysis.
Amit Rimon (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and colleagues published a new paper in Nature Communications on topical phage therapy in a mouse model of Cutibacterium acnes-induced lesions. They found that phage therapy may be a promising strategy to combat resistant acne vulgaris. This paper was also featured as an Editors’ Highlight.
A new Transplant Infectious Diseases study by Ghady Haidar (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine) and colleagues reports the use of nebulized phage therapy to treat Burkholderia multivorans in a CF patient. Unfortunately this was a clinical failure, but highlights the limitations, unknowns, and challenges of phage therapy for resistant infections.
Boston-based global health startup PhagePro has obtained an exclusive license to develop and market their phage cocktail product to prevent community spread of cholera.
Armata Pharmaceuticals announces positive topline data from the completed Phase 1b2a SWARM-P.a. trial evaluating AP-PA02, a novel, inhaled multi-phage therapeutic for the treatment of chronic pulmonary Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in cystic fibrosis patients.
The Africa Phage Forum will be hosting a webinar on this Wednesday, 15th March 2023 at 6:00 PM East Africa Time (EAT). The webinar, titled ‘Scientific Writing & Effective Grant Writing’, will be given by Dr. Tobi Nagel, the Founder and President of Phages for Global Health. Register here!
The documentary, Salt in My Soul, follows the life of Mallory Smith, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at age 3, and a resistant infection at age 15. In her final days, her father attempted to arrange phage therapy for her, but it was just a little too late.
In Sydney next week? Attend the Sydney screening of Salt in My Soul + expert panel, and hear from international and local experts in AMR and phage therapy, including Ameneh Khatami, Ruby Lin, Jon Iredell (Phage Australia), Richard Alm (CARB-X) and Diane Shader Smith (Mallory’s mother / AMR advocate).
When: Thu., 16 March 2023, 5:00 pm – 8:30 pm AEDT.
From Phage Twitter, via @hayleyn0rdstr0m: Adaptive Phage Therapeutics laid off 30% of the company this morning, including me… So, looking for phage research jobs in the DC metro area again! Drop me a DM if you have leads or want to chat.
The Good Virus is a new book by Tom Ireland that tells the story of phage research, from its beginnings to the present day. Now available for preorder in the UK and the US!
In this JAMA Medical News & Perspectives article, Eli Cahan discusses the resurgence of interest in phage therapy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a new preprint, Enea Maffei (University of Basel) and colleagues describe a new phage, Paride, which is able to kill dormant, antibiotic-tolerant bacteria. They suggest that this phage hijacks weak spots in the dormant physiology of antibiotic-tolerant bacteria that could be exploited as Achilles’ heels for the development of new treatments targeting resilient bacterial infections.
A new paper in Nature Microbiology by Madison C. Williams (University of Washington) and colleagues entitled Restriction endonuclease cleavage of phage DNA enables resuscitation from Cas13-induced bacterial dormancy reports that restriction modification systems frequently co-occur with type VI CRISPR systems and that they synergize to clear phage infections and resuscitate cells.
Screen Australia has announced $4.6 million in production funding for 21 documentaries, including A Forgotten Cure (working title), a 54-minute phage therapy documentary that follows teams of scientists in Melbourne and Sydney (part of Phage Australia) as they test phage therapy on three critically ill patients.
In this study, Benjamin A. Adler (University of California, Berkeley) and colleagues used a high-throughput genetic screen to uncover genome-wide host suppressors of diverse single-gene lysis proteins (Sgls). See also this interview with the authors about the work.
ESCMID (European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases) is hosting a hands-on course on phage therapy 25 - 27 July 2023, Brussels, Belgium) – register by 06 June 2023 (25 spaces only!).
Our @PhageFiles podcast is finally here! Tune in on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Deezer and Amazon Music to listen to our first episodes. In our podcast we will discuss all things phage. You will hear from researchers and entrepreneurs interested in different aspects of phage biology. But first, we will tell you about the fascinating history of phage discovery.
We would like to thank @Ellie_Jameson for our beautiful phage mini versions. Check out more of Ellie’s artwork here!
— @ZuzanaPaleckov1 & @quinnit_2_winit
A new paper in PNAS by Bin Li and colleagues discusses how viruses require the small polyamine spermidine to replicate normally, in part due to its important role in ribosomal translation. They found genes in many phages and eukaryotic viruses encoding enzymes that produce spermidine or homospermidine, supporting an important role of spermidine in virus biology.
In a new paper in Nature Microbiology, Charles Dulberger and colleagues show that the mycobacterial nucleoid-associated protein Lsr2 is required for productive mycobacteriophage infection.
In a new paper in Food Microbiology, Marta Volpi and colleagues report on a full-scale industrial trial to evaluate the efficacy of a commercial phage product to reduce the prevalence of naturally occurring Salmonella on pork carcasses. They found that phage application allows for approximately 79% reduction of Salmonella-positive carcasses.
In a new paper in Viruses, Sandrine Le Guellec and colleagues describe a preclinical study involving macaques to predict the efficacy of delivery of nebulizer-administered Pseudomonas aeruginosa phages during mechanical ventilation. They found that the lung deposition of viable phage particles ranged from 6% to 26% of the phages loaded in the nebulizer, and that 1 × 10^9 PFU/mL was an efficient dose.
BiomX Inc. announced positive results from Part 1 of the Phase 1b/2a trial evaluating their novel phage cocktail, BX004, for the treatment of chronic pulmonary infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in patients with cystic fibrosis.
In a talk entitled “Bacteriophage Therapy: From Soviet Clinical Experience to Current Activities at the Eliava Institute”, Dr. Mzia Kutateladze (Eliava Institute of Bacteriophage, Georgia) will present her latest research at the Targeting Phage Therapy Congress in Paris (June 1-2, 2023).
In a new paper in Cell Reports, Beatriz Beamud (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and colleagues report on their study of the genetic determinants of host tropism in Klebsiella phages. They isolated 46 phages to challenge 138 representative clinical Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, and found that <2% of 6,319 phage-host combinations tested yielding detectable interactions. Capsule diversity was found to be the main factor restricting phage host range.
A subset of jumbo phages have recently been shown to encode a ‘phage nucleus’ for sequestering the phage genome away from host nucleolytic attack. Eliza Nieweglowska (University of California, San Francisco) and colleagues published a new paper in Nature Communications on how the ϕPA3 phage nucleus is enclosed by a self-assembling 2D crystalline lattice.
In a new Nature Microbiology paper, Jan Wohlfarth (ETH Zurich) and colleagues show that Listeria and Enterococcus can evade phage predation by transient conversion to a cell wall-deficient L-form state, which is triggered by endolysins disintegrating the cell wall ‘from without’. Results suggest this represents a population-level persistence mechanism to evade eradication by phage. Read also this discussion of the paper by Thomas Denes (University of Tennessee, Knoxville).
The Japanese government is moving forward with a pull incentive for developing new antibiotics, called the Antimicrobial Securement Project. According to CARB-X’s director, Kevin Outterson, this is a revenue guarantee pull incentive, akin to what Sweden is doing, but higher in funding amount, and is an exciting step in the right direction.
Erytech (a red blood cell-based therapeutics company) and Pherecydes (a phage therapy company) will merge to form a new company, whose name is yet to be disclosed, and redirect Erytech’s financial resources, people and network toward Pherecydes’ phage therapy programs.
PhD Position: The evolution of bacterial immune systems (www.findaphd.com)
PostDoc position: MICROBIAL BIOINFORMATICS (www.training.nih.gov)
On Feb 28 at 5 PM East Africa Time, the Africa Phage Forum will be hosting a talk by Dr. Evelien Adriaenssens (Quadram Institute; Chair of ICTV Bacterial Viruses Committee) on the recently announced changes to phage taxonomy, including the abolishment of Myoviridae/Siphoviridae/Podoviridae families.
The 28th Biennial Conference on Phage/Virus Assembly will be held at Shrigley Hall in Macclesfield, UK from 18-23 June 2023.
Evergreen is Happening!
In a new paper in Biotechnology Advances, Wajid Hussain (Huazhong University of Science and Technology) and colleagues review genetic engineering approaches for bacteriophages, with a focus on their potential applications.
Soo Khim Chan (University of California San Diego) and colleagues have developed peptides which bind specifically to Pseudomonas phage Good Vibes, which may enable real-time analysis of phage in vivo and monitor the efficacy of phage therapy.
A new paper by Pablo Quirós (Universitat de Barcelona) and colleagues published in The ISME Journal reports the isolation of the first phage infecting some Nitrosomonas species. This polyvalent virulent phage (named ΦNF-1) infected Nitrosomonas europaea, Nitrosomonas communis, and Nitrosomonas nitrosa.
In a new paper in Cell, Brianna Duncan-Lowey (Harvard Medical School) and colleagues determined the cryo-EM structures of the RADAR defense complex, revealing RdrA as a heptameric, two-layered AAA+ ATPase and RdrB as a dodecameric, hollow complex with twelve surface-exposed deaminase active sites.
In this new paper in Virus Evolution, Eric Olo Ndela (Université Clermont Auvergne, France) and colleagues report the discovery of sixteen complete microvirus genomes that represent two novel groups of microviruses, tentatively named Reekeekeevirinae and Roodoodoovirinae.
Research Technologist 2 - Bordenstein Lab (psu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com)
Principal Research Fellow (SCELSE) (careers.nus.edu.sg)
On February 8 at 9:30am GMT the UK Parliament Science and Technology Committee will be holding a public oral evidence session for “The antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages.”
On Feb 28 at 5PM East Africa Time, Phage Kenya Consortium will be hosting a talk by Dr. Evelien Adriaenssens (Quadram Institute; Chair of ICTV Bacterial Viruses Committee) on the recently announced changes to phage taxonomy, including the abolishment of Myoviridae/Siphoviridae/Podoviridae families.
Researchers from UC San Diego, the J. Craig Venter Institute and Yale University have been awarded $10 million by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) to support research on using jumbo viruses as new therapeutic agents.
Postdoc position on advanced modelling of phage-host dynamics in bioreactors (www.kuleuven.be)
Postdoctoral Position in Structural Virology Group of Pavel Plevka (www.nature.com)
In this PBS Vitals video, Alok Patel (MD) and Sheena Williams (RN) explore how phage therapy could help humanity win the battle against antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
The next Viruses of Microbes conference will be held in Tbilisi, Georgia on July 3-7, 2023. The conference marks a new era in viral research which has begun with the recognition of viruses of microorganisms – viruses of bacteria, archaea, and microbial eukaryotes as predominant component of the biosphere and led to the identification of these viruses as major players in the global ecology, public health, microbial physiology, and evolution. Registration open now (and limited to 500 participants).
In the latest episode of the Phage Therapy Today podcast, Carrie-Lynn Langlais Furr, CEO and Co-founder at Bacteriophage & Drug Development Consultants (BDDC) talks about how to navigate the drug development and regulatory waters for phage therapies.
The UK Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry into the antimicrobial potential of bacteriophages as a way to address antibiotic resistance. Here you can read 34 public letters contributed by the international phage community about the need for consideration of phage therapy to combat AMR infections.
Ellina Trofimova has developed a new version of her Plaque Size Tool that doesn’t require installation on Google Colab.
Ben Chan (Center for Phage Biology & Therapy, Yale University) and colleagues report the use of a personalized, inhaled phage therapy for treating P. aeruginosa infections in 9 CF adults, with the goal of selecting phages that target bacterial cell surface receptors that contribute to antibiotic resistance or virulence. Results showed that phage therapy: 1) reduced sputum P. aeruginosa, 2) showed evidence for predicted trade-offs in most subjects, and 3) improved lung function.
Adaptive Phage Therapeutics announced that the first patient has been dosed in the PHAGE clinical trial, evaluating bacteriophage therapy in adults with cystic fibrosis who carry Pseudomonas aeruginosa in their lungs.
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Developing a cell-free bacteriophage production system (recruitment-recrutement.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca)
An Unfinished Life: The True Impact of Antibiotic Resistance (www.amraustralia.com)
Innovate UK KTN Phage Innovation Network - Online launch event (ktn-uk.org)
Phage-encoded carbohydrate-interacting proteins in the human gut (www.frontiersin.org)
PhageTailFinder: A tool for phage tail module detection and annotation (www.frontiersin.org)
Antibiotics that affect translation can antagonize phage infectivity by interfering with the deployment of counter-defenses (www.pnas.org)
Identification of integrons and gene cassette-associated recombination sites in bacteriophage genomes (www.frontiersin.org)
Open Postdoctoral position at Stanford University (postdocs.stanford.edu)
Assistant researcher in toxin-antitoxin studies (lu.varbi.com)
National Geographic visited and wrote about Dr. Lillian Musila (Kenya Medical Research Institute) and her colleagues about their identification of over 150 phages and work toward using them to address AMR. The article features several Phages for Global Health researchers!
Lucía Blasco and colleagues published a new paper describing 32 new phage tail-like bacteriocins (pyocins) from a clinical collection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and their potential use as typing markers and antimicrobial agents.
Hawkins et al. published a new paper which provides the first complete structural analysis of the S. epidermidis–infecting phage Andhra. Key findings include elucidating critical features for virion assembly, host recognition, and penetration, as well as identifying two proteins that comprise the tail tip heterooctamer.
The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses recently adopted a binomial naming format for virus species. A new paper describes how to create Latinized binomials for virus species, how to automatically generate large batches of novel genus and species names, and why the new format for species names does not actually affect virus names.
Exploiting viral ecology to combat problem organisms in biological wastewater treatment (www.ncl.ac.uk)
Post Doctoral Scholar at Ohio State University (osu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com)
Research Technician 2 at ohio State University (osu.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com)
Vésale Bioscience wins R&D grant (european-biotechnology.com)
Bacteriophage therapy for human musculoskeletal and skin/soft tissue infections (www.sciencedirect.com)
Doctoral student in ecology with specialization in marine viral ecology (web103.reachmee.com)
Doctoral student in ecology with specialization in marine viral ecology (web103.reachmee.com)
Laboratory technician for microbiology and molecular biology (phagos.org)
ASSISTANT TEACHING PROFESSOR, BIOLOGY AT DREXEL UNIVERSITY (careers.drexel.edu)
PhD fellowship in Bacteriophage-Pathogen Interactions (employment.ku.dk)
PhD Position in Freshwater Phage Ecology (www.researchjobs.cz)
Host control by SPβ phage regulatory switch as potential manipulation strategy (www.sciencedirect.com)
Coupled induction of prophage and virulence factors during tick transmission of the Lyme disease spirochete (www.nature.com)
The Breadth of Bacteriophages Contributing to the Development of the Phage-Based Vaccines for COVID-19: An Ideal Platform to Design the Multiplex Vaccine (www.mdpi.com)
A widespread family of phage-inducible chromosomal islands only steals bacteriophage tails to spread in nature (www.sciencedirect.com)
PICI thieves: Molecular piracy and cooperation (www.cell.com)
CRISPR-Cas provides limited phage immunity to a prevalent gut bacterium in gnotobiotic mice (www.nature.com)
Connecting genomic islands across prokaryotic and phage genomes via protein families (www.nature.com)
Phage-resistant mutations impact bacteria susceptibility to future phage infections and antibiotic response (onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
Paving the way forward: Escherichia coli bacteriophages in a One Health approach (www.tandfonline.com)
Novel integrative elements and genomic plasticity in ocean ecosystems (www.sciencedirect.com)
Phage therapy: From biological mechanisms to future directions (www.cell.com)
Monitoring phage-induced lysis of gram-negatives in real time using a fluorescent DNA dye (www.nature.com)
Postdoctoral Research Associate-Ramsey Lab (tamus.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com)
PhD Studentship in Civil Engineering: Exploiting viral ecology to combat problem organisms in biological wastewater treatment (www.ncl.ac.uk)
Doctoral student in Microbiology in the medical area
5th International hands-on PHAGE Biotechnology course (www.ceb.uminho.pt)
In a new GARDP antimicrobial viewpoint piece, Jon Iredell and Jessica Sacher of Phage Australia discuss ways to improve the economics of personalized phage therapy as part of a clinical service, including increasing the number of patients who benefit from each phage batch, establishing safety through endpoint rather than full process controls, and exploring new payment models like value-based pricing.
Cole Matrishin (University at Buffalo) and colleagues published a new preprint on how phages are unrecognized players in oral pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis ecology, contributing to strain-level diversity and the species pangenome. They demonstrate that prophages harbored by a model strain of the pathogen are active, producing extracellular viral particles.
From 2018 to 2022, IPATH initiated phage hunts for 265 patients, but 25% couldn’t proceed due to lack of phages. IPATH has now partnered with Korean phage company MicrobiotiX; IPATH will screen and send sample isolates to MicrobiotiX, who will screen and send phages back to IPATH.
The Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group will begin a phase 1b/2, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to examine safety and microbiological activity of phage therapy in persons with cystic fibrosis colonized with Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Technophage, a phage biotech company in Portugal, successfully completed its Phase I/IIa Clinical Trial of TP-102, a phage cocktail for infected diabetic foot ulcers.
Exciting day 🤩 Our newly born GIVoM - Gruppo Italiano Virus of Microbes met for the first time! Italians – in the country and abroad 🇮🇹 - working in this field 🧫🦠🧬 will gather every month to share our research and support each other.❗️PM if you want to know more about this! - via Michela Gambino on LinkedIn
The Ibadan Bacteriophage Research Team, an undergraduate SEA-PHAGES team at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, announces the launch of the 2nd edition of the team’s journal issue, PHAMILIA. This is the very first undergraduate research journal focused on bacteriophage biology. It showcases publications on diverse subjects of bacteriophage biology, from the team and other guest writers. To download: https://ibadanphageresearchteam.org/