Erytech (a red blood cell-based therapeutics company) and Pherecydes (a phage therapy company) will merge to form a new company, whose name is yet to be disclosed, and redirect Erytech’s financial resources, people and network toward Pherecydes’ phage therapy programs.
The Japanese government is moving forward with a pull incentive for developing new antibiotics, called the Antimicrobial Securement Project. According to CARB-X’s director, Kevin Outterson, this is a revenue guarantee pull incentive, akin to what Sweden is doing, but higher in funding amount, and is an exciting step in the right direction.
In a new Nature Microbiology paper, Jan Wohlfarth (ETH Zurich) and colleagues show that Listeria and Enterococcus can evade phage predation by transient conversion to a cell wall-deficient L-form state, which is triggered by endolysins disintegrating the cell wall ‘from without’. Results suggest this represents a population-level persistence mechanism to evade eradication by phage. Read also this discussion of the paper by Thomas Denes (University of Tennessee, Knoxville).
A subset of jumbo phages have recently been shown to encode a ‘phage nucleus’ for sequestering the phage genome away from host nucleolytic attack. Eliza Nieweglowska (University of California, San Francisco) and colleagues published a new paper in Nature Communications on how the ϕPA3 phage nucleus is enclosed by a self-assembling 2D crystalline lattice.
In a new paper in Cell Reports, Beatriz Beamud (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and colleagues report on their study of the genetic determinants of host tropism in Klebsiella phages. They isolated 46 phages to challenge 138 representative clinical Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, and found that <2% of 6,319 phage-host combinations tested yielding detectable interactions. Capsule diversity was found to be the main factor restricting phage host range.