C&T Round Up for March 2021

Issue 119 | March 26, 2021
7 min read
Capsid and Tail

This week, we’re highlighting the three feature articles we published in March: a quick dive into phage and diabetic foot ulcers, a recap of the Phage Futures conference last month, and a recap of Jon Iredell’s PHAVES seminar this month on the Australian experience with phage therapy.

What’s New

Liechtenstein company Lysando AG and Korean company Amicogen Inc. have forged a strategic partnership. Lysando creates Artilysin®s, which are phage lysin-based antimicrobial proteins, and partnering with Amicogen will allow them to access the Asian market.

Biotech newsPartnership

Cytophage Technologies, a Canadian phage biotech company, is about to start testing on animals a throat and nasal spray that would stop infection by COVID-19 and its variants. The idea is that the synthetic phage in their spray will stimulate the production of protective antibodies in the nose and throat.

Biotech newsCOVID

Dann Turner (University of the West of England) and colleagues published a new paper in Viruses entitled A Roadmap for Genome-Based Phage Taxonomy. See also this Twitter thread by Evelien Adriaenssens.

Research paperTaxonomy

Carol Zhou (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) and colleagues published a new paper in G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics entitled MultiPhATE2: Code for functional annotation and comparison of phage genomes.

Bioinformatics ToolResearch paper

Danish Malik (Loughborough University) and colleagues published a new paper in Current Opinion in Biotechnology showing current approaches for manufacture, formulation, targeted delivery and controlled release of phage-based therapeutics.

Phage manufacturingResearch paper

Ryan Cook (University of Nottingham) and colleagues published a new paper in Microbiome showing how a hybrid assembly of an agricultural slurry virome revealed a diverse and stable community with the potential to alter the metabolism and virulence of veterinary pathogens.

Phage in agricultureResearch paperVirome

Latest Jobs

PhD projectPhage and foodPhage-based detection
Dr. Hany Anany (University of Guelph) is looking for a PhD student to work on a newly funded 3-year project with the National Research Council of Canada to develop a phage-based rapid detection device for Listeria monocytogenes using immobilized lytic Listeria phages on nanoparticles. The student has to register first at University of Guelph PhD program (or nearby university) before applying to AAFC under the RAP program. As this is a government job, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent resident candidates before going to international students. Please send your CV to Dr. Anany at hany.anany@canada.ca.
Post Master
The Bioscience Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory is seeking a motivated, enthusiastic post-master’s student interested in phage biology research. The goal of the project is to develop a novel high throughput platform to rapidly discover and isolate novel and effective bacteriophages against bacterial pathogens.

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!

As mentioned in this month’s Quick Dive on phage and diabetic foot infections, Phage Directory is excited to be putting together a new series of talks (ideally the beginning of a working group) on clinical use of phage, starting with diabetic foot infections. Thanks to all who have emailed so far and expressed your interest!

Anyone interested in giving a talk, or taking part in a panel discussion, please email me at jessica@phage.directory! Also, I’m also keen to hear from those who have treated patients with phages in settings beyond diabetic foot as well.

To get updates when we launch the series, subscribe to PHAVES here!

Watch past events we’ve hosted on YouTube here.

Phage TherapyVirtual EventPhage Directory

Acknowledging the importance of genomic characterization of phages to understand their biology and for their safe use in therapeutics and other applications, International Bacteriophage Research Consortium (IBRC) and Phage Directory, USA are co-hosting a series of Phage Bioinformatics Webinars.

Our next guest is Dr. Justin Clark, Lead Data Scientist and Co-founder of TAILΦR, a Baylor College of Medicine bacteriophage initiative. Originally trained as a wet-lab molecular biologist, Justin has studied a variety of pathogenic bacteria over the last decade at both the bench and the computer. His current research focuses on both therapeutic phage uses and comparative genomics of ESKAPE pathogens.

We are very pleased to invite you to the webinar on 30 March, 2021 at 8.30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST) / 10.00 am CST. We look forward to your participation. Register using the link.

Check out our new Bioinformatics resources page here, where we’re posting materials on talks in this series. More to be added as we go! Also check out our Slack page (#phage-bioinformatics channel) to converse with others attending the sessions and working through their phage bioinformatics projects!

BioinformaticsVirtual EventPhage DirectoryIBRC

Phage Club on Clubhouse is back next week on Wednesday night (9PM Eastern). The theme will be ‘Therapeutic Phage on Trial: Burden of Proof in Genomic Analysis’, which will be an ‘after party’ after Justin Clark’s seminar on Tuesday March 30!

Also, Sabrina Green and Adriana Carolina Hernandez Morales have been hosting Phage Club rooms on Fridays at 1PM Central! Today featured special guest Steffanie Strathdee!

And thanks for everyone who came out this past Wednesday, where we talked with Dr. Gina Suh from Mayo Clinic about how she finds phages for her patients. We’ve recorded it if anyone is interested!

Email jessica@phage.directory if you need an invite to Clubhouse! (Currently only for iPhone).

ClubhouseVirtual EventPhage Directory

Greetings to all senior phage scientists. I am currently conducting phage research and seeking your collaboration in order to characterize the isolated phages using TEM. Kindly assist me to achieve this task by highlighting your requirements for TEM services including pricings. I am Noutin Fernand Michodigni, PhD Student in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Pan African University, noutin.fernand@students.jkuat.ac.ke.

Electron microscopySeeking services

Graham Hatfull and Steffanie Strathdee are seeking information about nebulizers that have been tested in phage therapy. See Steffanie’s tweet thread here and get in touch with her or Graham if you’d like to help. “#Phage tweeps: @GHatfull & @IPATH are looking for a list of performance for nebulizers used for #phagetherapy. i.e. which ones have/have not been used, methods for each, phage survival after nebulization & what clinical outcomes exist. (This would make a great paper too!)”

Phage TherapyPhage delivery systemsQ&A

Check out this Twitter Q&A thread started by Paul Jaschke: “Anybody know of a source where cost of production ($/pfu) has been calculated for GMP or similar phage preps? #phagetherapy #bacteriophage #gmp”.

Phage TwitterPhage manufacturing

C&T Round Up for March 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 feature articles we published in March. 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! Take a look back on the PHAVES recap ‘From phage-disinfectant combos to phage AI’!

Capsid & Tail

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