8 thoughts on “P32 – Kerr-Layton

  1. What are some of the major benefits of using multiple, synergistic phages in a cocktail, rather than targeting a bacterial infection with a mono-phage?

    1. Thank you for your question! Perhaps most importantly, since different phages often have different mechanisms of action against the bacteria, by combining multiple phages they are able to work synergistically to maximize the desired therapeutic effect and increase the efficacy since the variety of mechanisms can work simultaneously. Furthermore, by using a variety of phages, there is a decreased probability of bacterial resistance to one phage or mechanism causing the treatment to be ineffective.

  2. Why did the phage sample come from soil? What makes soil special for this type of research?

    1. Thank you for your question! Luckily, bacteriophages are very abundant in nature, including soil. This is because soil hosts a vast and diverse source of microorganisms, including bacteria. Since bacteria are the primary hosts for phages, it then follows that in areas where bacteria is abundant, phages will also be abundant. Also, for our lab purposes, this is helpful since it makes finding and collecting samples easier!

  3. Are there any differences in function between the different classifications of phage, such as “A1” or “N” as you mentioned in the video? If not, what are the differences in the classifications?

    1. Thank you for your question! Cluster classifications are determined based in similarity of the genetic sequence to other phage genomes in that same cluster. So different clusters, have different similar sequences of DNA. Classification alone is unfortunately limited since it cannot directly help us understand information about the specific function of the phage. Further DNA annotation and correlation analysis (i.e. using the BLAST algorithm) would be needed to determine this.

  4. Is it better to have temperate phage since they go through both life cycles or lytic phage?

    1. Thank you for your question! It so happens that both lytic and temperate phages have potential applications in bacteriophage therapy. The deciding factor of which type of phage should be used often comes down to the specific bacterial infection that is being treated and the particular desired outcome. As an example, since lytic phages are able to rapidly infect and kill bacteria would be a good candidate for treating an acute infection. For more chronic bacterial infections, temperate phages might serve best since they can integrate into the host genome and remain dormant until the conditions are favorable for replication.

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