C&T Round Up for January 2021

Issue 111 | January 29, 2021
4 min read
Capsid and Tail

This week, we’re highlighting the four feature articles we published in January: Phage Directory’s 2021 outlook, a guest blog post, an interview, and a first look at our State of Phage survey results! Enjoy!

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There’s still time to register for Phage Futures 2021, which will take place virtually Feb 24-26, 2021! The theme will be translating phage-based applications into clinically & commercially viable therapeutics. Come hear from 25+ industry-leading speakers, and get 10% off with code PD10!

We hope to see you there!!

Add your voice to the State of Phage 2020 Survey!

State of Phage 2020 logo

In celebration of our 100th issue of Capsid & Tail, we launched a survey called State of Phage 2020! We created this survey to help us all better understand the phage research community globally, including what kind of phages people are collecting, what methods they’re using, and more. If you work with phages, please fill it out! We’ll compile and share the results in Capsid & Tail in 2021, and repeat the survey annually so we can all follow and share our community’s exciting growth over time.

ONE WEEK UNTIL SURVEY CLOSES FEB 5

Thanks so much to the 131 labs who’ve completed the survey, and to those who have shared it!! We’re closing the survey in ONE WEEK, so if you’ve started but haven’t finished (57 of you — your browser should have saved your progress!) or you want to take it from the beginning, please fill it out by Feb 5!

We’d love if you continued sharing it with friends! https://survey.phage.directory/

Take the State of Phage 2020 Survey

What’s New

Armata Pharmaceuticals announced a $20 Million investment to support advancement of its clinical phage development programs. Armata aims to complete a phage clinical trial (Phase 1b/2a, P. aeruginosa) and initiate three more in 2021-2022.

Biotech newsClinical TrialFunding newsPhage Therapy

Holger Buchholz (University of Exeter, UK) and colleagues published a new paper in The ISME Journal showing a high-throughput method for isolating virus-host model systems for fastidious heterotrophic bacteria. Using this method, 117 new phages were isolated, including the first known phage to infect bacterial clade SAR11.

Phage methodsPhage-host interactionsResearch paper

Janet Nale (University of Leicester, UK) and colleagues published a new paper in Frontiers in Microbiology on how an optimized phage cocktail they developed can effectively control Salmonella. They administered the three-phage cocktail to Galleria mellonella larvae (an in vivo model) and showed that the cocktail improved larvae survival by 88-100%.

Phage cocktail developmentResearch paper

Jingen Zhu (The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC) and colleagues published a new preprint describing the use of CRISPR-engineered phage T4 as a universal platform to produce vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. They found high levels of antibody and T cell-mediated immune response when they tested the construct on rabbit and mouse models. Beyond SARS-CoV-2, this platform has the potential to generate cost-effective and efficient vaccine candidates against any future pathogen.

Phage-based vaccinesPreprintResearch paper

Nitasha Menon (Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, India) and colleagues published a new paper in mSphere on a phage they isolated from sewage that has activity against multidrug resistant clinical isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in South India. This study includes full genomic characterization of the phage plus combinatorial studies with antibiotics. — Thanks Nitasha for the submission!

Phage-antibiotic interactionsResearch paper

Latest Jobs

Armata Pharmaceuticals (Marina del Rey, California) is hiring an Associate Scientist/Scientist Phage & Bacterial Genetics, Engineering & Synthetic Biology to evaluate existing engineering methods and devise new ones to build improved phages for clinical development.
Phage biotech company Proteon Pharma (Warsaw, Poland) is hiring a business analyst.

Community Board

Anyone can post a message to the phage community — and it could be anything from collaboration requests, post-doc searches, sequencing help — just ask!

PHAVES #12 will be a seminar with Dr. Betty Kutter of the Evergreen State College on Tues, Feb 9 at 8AM Pacific Time / 11AM Eastern Time. Title: coming soon! Small group networking to follow! Register here!

PHAVESVirtual Event

Carmen (@PhageAnt on Twitter) would like to hear from you! Do you have any recommendations for any conferences/talks that are heavily involved in viral metagenomics? Reply to the Twitter post if you have any suggestions!

Phage TwitterQ&AViral metagenomics

My name is Farhad Afrasiabi. Ph.D. student in the Department of Microbiology at Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, IRAN. I am interested in working on phage. I am currently working on a joint project to do my doctoral thesis on phage. Of course, I’ve also ready to work on any project that you want to do. Please email me at afrasiabifarhad@gmail.com to discuss opportunities.

Seeking opportunities

C&T Round Up for January 2021

Profile Image
PhD Candidate
La Trobe University

I am a third year PhD student from La Trobe University, Melbourne, currently isolating and researching the use of bacteriophages for skin infections in animals. I have a background in Animal & Veterinary Bioscience and hope to continue research of bacteriophages as therapeutics within the veterinary or livestock sector. I am also currently developing and optimising the use of animal-alternative models for safety and efficacy trials of phage therapy. I am always willing to chat about phage research and would like to connect with phage biotech companies as I am interested in jobs within the industry sector.

In this month’s Capsid & Tail Monthly Round Up issue, we’re highlighting the four feature articles we published in January. Be sure to check them out if you missed them, and let us know if you have thoughts, comments or questions! Reach us anytime by email or Slack!

C&T Throwback!

There’s lots of great phage stuff in the C&T archive! Remember this article on A phage biologist’s path from academia to industry and back — an interview with Dr. Ben Burrowes?


Thanks to Stephanie Lynch and Atif Khan for their work writing summaries for the What’s New section this week!

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