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Comparative genomics demonstrated that the chromosomes from bacteria and their viruses (bacteriophages) are coevolving. This process is most evident for bacterial pathogens where the majority contain prophages or phage remnants integrated into the bacterial DNA. Many prophages from bacterial pathogens encode virulence factors. Two situations can be(More)
The current status of phage therapy approaches is reviewed and possible hurdles to a practical medical application of bacteriophages in Western countries are identified as discussed at a recent EMBO meeting on "Viruses of Microbes" in Brussels. In view of the growing antibiotic resistance crisis, a coordinated effort by the public health sector is needed to(More)
The temperate Streptococcus thermophilus bacteriophage phi SFi21 showed an 38-kb-long double-stranded DNA genome with cohesive ends. A single integration site was used in lysogens established in three different S. thermophilus strains. The attP and attB sites were localized on the restriction map of phage DNA and by hybridization on pulsed field separated(More)
Fifteen healthy adult volunteers received in their drinking water a lower Escherichia coli phage T4 dose (10(3) PFU/ml), a higher phage dose (10(5) PFU/ml), and placebo. Fecal coliphage was detected in a dose-dependent way in volunteers orally exposed to phage. All volunteers receiving the higher phage dose showed fecal phage 1 day after exposure; this(More)
Comparative phage genomics can retrace part of the evolutionary history of phage modules encoding phage-specific functions such as capsid building or establishment of the lysogenic state. The diagnosis of relatedness is not based exclusively on sequence similarity, but includes topological considerations of genome organization. The gene maps from the(More)
There are common themes among bacteriophage-encoded virulence factors, which include the well-characterized bacterial toxins and proteins that alter antigenicity as well as several new classes of bacteriophage-encoded proteins such as superantigens, effectors translocated by a type III secretion system, and proteins required for intracellular survival and(More)
The Age of Genomics dawned only gradually for bacteriophages. It was 1977 when the genome of phage phi X174 was published and 1983 when the "large" genome of phage lambda hit the streets. More recently, the pace has quickened, so that we now have over 100 complete phage genomes and can expect thousands in a very few years. These sequences have been(More)
When establishing lysogeny, temperate phages integrate their genome as a prophage into the bacterial chromosome. Prophages thus constitute in many bacteria a substantial part of laterally acquired DNA. Some prophages contribute lysogenic conversion genes that are of selective advantage to the bacterial host. Occasionally, phages are also involved in the(More)
Phages have been proposed as natural antimicrobial agents to fight bacterial infections in humans, in animals or in crops of agricultural importance. Phages have also been discussed as hygiene measures in food production facilities and hospitals. These proposals have a long history, but are currently going through a kind of renaissance as documented by a(More)