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'Altruistic suicide' as a bacterial defense mechanism against viral infection

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Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria and are considered one of the most abundant entities in the biosphere. Due to their efficiency in infecting and killing bacteria, bacteriophages are exploited for “phage therapy”, i.e. using bacteriophages to control bacterial infection. In recent years bacteriophage research has come under the spotlight due to growing antibiotic resistance and the need for alternative ways of managing bacterial infection. However many obstacles still exist in phage therapy research, especially bacterial resistance to phage infection. In this talk the audience will be given a brief introduction to bacteriophage biology and phage therapy, followed by in-depth description of how some bacteria could defend themselves against phage infection using Type III toxin-antitoxin, causing abortive infection, a.k.a. “altruistic suicide”.

This talk is part of the Caius MCR/SCR research talks series.

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