Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT), having recently doubled its biologics manufacturing capability (intended for its upcoming phage clinical trials), is currently in talks with a partner to help with rapid production of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate for a clinical study. APT does not anticipate delays with its phage trials, and plans to soon expand its workforce (doubling or tripling its 30-person size).
Ella Balasa, one of our guest writers and volunteers, and former phage therapy recipient, has written about what it’s like being at high risk for COVID-19; a very sobering read (though it ends on a positive note!).
Gabriel Magno de Freitas Almeida and Lotta-Riina Sundberg (University of Jyvaskyla, Finland) have published a historical review in The Lancet Infectious Diseases that dives into the forgotten history of phage therapy in Brazil. They show that Brazil was an important (yet little-known) player in phage therapy, and uncover interesting priority claims and missing pieces of phage therapy’s history.
Michelle Bach (Stanford University) and colleagues published a new preprint on how the filamentous phage Pf (present in 69% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa wounds) delays healing of P. aeruginosa-infected wounds by provoking an anti-phage immune response that leads to impaired keratinocyte migration and delayed wound re-epithelialization.
Przemysław Decewicz (University of Warsaw, Poland) and colleagues have isolated two virulent phages infecting Ochrobactrum spp. for the first time. The host, due to its extensive repertoire of enzymatic properties, is a key player in the biotech industry, and virulent phages could be explored as a means of biocontrol and bioaugmentation of related industrial practices.
Adair Borges and colleagues from the Bondy-Denomy lab at UCSF have published a paper discussing how Pseudomonas aeruginosa host factors, previously characterized for their role in alginate biosynthesis, affect its Type I-F CRISPR–Cas system. The presence of homologs of alginate regulators in Pseudomonas phages suggests they can adapt this regulation mechanism to repress CRISPR-Cas immunity.
Cédric Lood (KU Leuven) and colleagues published a new paper on jumbo phage-host interactions: they used an integrative omics approach (hybrid sequencing, RNAseq, and mass spectrometry) to look at Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage PA5oct and its host. They were able to annotate it accurately, look at gene expression patterns during infection, and place the phage among other phages using a gene-sharing network.