A giant phage to attack nosocomial infections

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Phages, bacteria-eating viruses, can intervene in therapies complementary to antibiotics. Researchers have discovered new insights into how a giant bacteriophage, called ΦKZ, works. Its peculiarity: it is surrounded by a protective capsule when it infects the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which allows him to bypass his immune system. It can then insert its viral DNA into the bacterial host, in order to replicate, and finally devour the bacteria.

Why it matters. The discovery of this mechanism is important because Pseudomonas aeruginosa is responsible for many nosocomial infections. Very resistant, this bacterium is one of the most difficult to treat. Its role in cystic fibrosis is also well established. Its use in phage therapy would represent hope for these patients.

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Read the article by For science

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