Phage mobility regulates the phage-bacteria mixed biofilms

New questions of host-parasite coevolution and horizontal gene transfer in biofilms

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Using a simulation framework, new key mechanistic features of biofilm growth and phage infection were identified by researchers from the United States of America and from Germany. The report demonstrated that viral pathogens (bacteriophages) mobility is crucial to the biofilm formation.

The authors explained that the interaction between biofilms and phages is ruled by nutrient availability to biofilms, the infection likelihood per host encounter and the capacity of phages to diffuse through biofilms. Additionally, the interactions among the matrices and phage particles are expected to be essential, adjusting the extent to which bacteria and phages can coexist in natural contexts.

Reference: Simmons M, Drescher K, Nadell CD, Bucci V.. Phage mobility is a core determinant of phage-bacteria coexistence in biofilms. ISME J. 2017. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2017.190

Celia Fortuna Rodrigues

PharmD, PhD , University of Porto