8 thoughts on “P61 – Boudreaux

  1. Hi Marie,

    Excellent presentation. I’m glad your group got a good phage, but what does your specific type of phage offer in terms of phage therapy? Does you phage have promising results in being therapeutic?

    1. Hello Nathan,

      Thanks for the feedback and question! There are two kinds of phage life cycles: lysogenic and lytic. Because our phage was temperate, that means it undergoes the lysogenic life cycle, which involves integrating the phage DNA into the host bacteria’s genome, which doesn’t necessarily lead to the immediate death of the bacteria. Because of this, it is not an effective candidate for phage therapy because a phage that kills cells faster would be better for that. However, because phage therapy is used for bacteria that are immune to antibiotics, it’s important to make sure that the bacteria don’t become immune to phage therapy as well. Because temperate phages have repressor proteins that are created in the bacteria cell, that prevents the bacteria from immediately producing phages resulting in the cell’s death. So in terms of research, it is important to understand the nature of the integrated repressor proteins to make sure a bacteria cell doesn’t get infected with a temperate phage, produce a repressor, and replicate with that repressor, causing the bacteria to be immune to phage therapy.

  2. Nice presentation! How can your specific phage possibly help in tuberculosis treatment? Are lytic or lysogenic phages more commonly used in phage therapy?

    1. Hi,
      Thank you!
      Lytic phages are more effective in terms of phage therapy because they are good at killing bacteria and replicating quickly. This results in exponential infection of the tuberculosis cells. However, it is important to make sure the tuberculosis cells in a patient do not become immune to the phages used for phage therapy. Doing research on lysogenic phages, which are known for integrating their genome into the bacteria cells and producing a repressor cell that stops the cell from ultimately dying, can help to find a solution to make sure that the tuberculosis cells don’t develop their own repressor proteins from an infection from a related or mutated bacteriophage that is lysogenic in nature. Because phages that are similar can both be affected by the same repressor, a single lysogenic phage can undermine the entire phage therapy process that uses lytic phages.

    1. Hi Brandon,
      Thank you for your question!
      There are two kinds of phage lifecycles: lytic and lysogenic. Lytic phages infect the cell, causing it to produce more phages, and then lyse(split open) the cell, killing it. Phages that undergo the lysogenic lifecycle are also called temperate phages. Temperate phages infect the cell, insert their own DNA into the genome of the cell, and then produce a “repressor” protein that prevents the phages from being produced in the infected cell. Over time, the repressor proteins get degraded, which causes the cell to produce phages and then die by lysis. Due to this, lytic phages are more effective at killing bacteria cells than temperate phages because they immediately replicate and kill the cells!

  3. Amazing presentation! Why did you choose to isolate a bacteriophage soil from under a bridge? Were there any difficulties isolating it from the rest of the components in the soil?

    1. Thank you, Katie!
      I chose to isolate a soil sample from under a bridge because the soil there was in a dark, damp place with a lot of plants that was untouched. Because the place was damp, it was a great place for bacteria to grow, which causes bacteriophages to follow suit. Because there were plants growing, I knew that there would be no chemicals that could possibly cause the bacteria to die or inhibit their concentration in the soil.
      The isolation process is actually pretty simple so there were no difficulties! In order to promote bacteria and bacteriophage growth, the soil sample is added to a media, which was placed in an incubator. The bacteria aren’t picky, so they thrive in the incubator. Afterwards, the dirt was filter out of the media, and the leftover solution is placed on a plate with more bacteria to promote infection for the bacteriophages to replicate.

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