Bacteriophage-Host Cell Interactions: From Biology to the Control of Bacterial Infection

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Microbiology and Immunology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2023) | Viewed by 2056

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: bacteriophage; endolysin; holin; lysin; bacterial cell wall; bacterial receptor; receptor-binding protein; antibiotic resistance; phage therapy; phage-based bacterial detection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bacteriophages (phages) were first described more than a century ago, and it was immediately discovered that their bactericidal activity could be used to treat bacterial infections (phage therapy). Research on understanding how phages infect and interact with bacterial hosts in different environments has provided answers to fundamental questions in biology and this research is linked to the very foundations of molecular biology. Phage research maintained its relevance over the years, being at the forefront of fundamental discoveries and major technological revolutions, with the CRISPR-Cas systems being one of the most recent and famous examples.

This Special Issue of Microorganisms intends to collate both reviews and original research articles that help to understand any aspect of phage–host cell interactions and ultimately how this knowledge can be utilized for certain applications. In the context of alternative approaches to respond to the escalating problem of antibiotic resistance, articles describing phage-based strategies (phages or their proteins) applied to the control of bacterial infection in different settings are particularly welcome. Some focal areas include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Understanding phage interaction with the host cell envelope and how phages cope with the bacterial cell barriers;
  • Use of phages and their derived proteins in the design of strategies to detect and/or fight bacteria in different contexts;
  • Bacterial response and defense mechanisms to phage infection and phage countermeasures.

Dr. Carlos São-José
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • bacteriophages
  • phage therapy
  • bacterial infections
  • bacteriophage–host interactions

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

18 pages, 3748 KiB  
Article
Perturbation of Quorum Sensing after the Acquisition of Bacteriophage Resistance Could Contribute to Novel Traits in Vibrio alginolyticus
by Dimitrios Skliros, Stavros Droubogiannis, Chrysanthi Kalloniati, Pantelis Katharios and Emmanouil Flemetakis
Microorganisms 2023, 11(9), 2273; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11092273 - 10 Sep 2023
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Abstract
Bacteria employ a wide range of molecular mechanisms to confer resistance to bacteriophages, and these mechanisms are continuously being discovered and characterized. However, there are instances where certain bacterial species, despite lacking these known mechanisms, can still develop bacteriophage resistance through intricate metabolic [...] Read more.
Bacteria employ a wide range of molecular mechanisms to confer resistance to bacteriophages, and these mechanisms are continuously being discovered and characterized. However, there are instances where certain bacterial species, despite lacking these known mechanisms, can still develop bacteriophage resistance through intricate metabolic adaptation strategies, potentially involving mutations in transcriptional regulators or phage receptors. Vibrio species have been particularly useful for studying the orchestrated metabolic responses of Gram-negative marine bacteria in various challenges. In a previous study, we demonstrated that Vibrio alginolyticus downregulates the expression of specific receptors and transporters in its membrane, which may enable the bacterium to evade infection by lytic bacteriophages. In our current study, our objective was to explore how the development of bacteriophage resistance in Vibrio species disrupts the quorum-sensing cascade, subsequently affecting bacterial physiology and metabolic capacity. Using a real-time quantitative PCR (rt-QPCR) platform, we examined the expression pattern of quorum-sensing genes, auto-inducer biosynthesis genes, and cell density regulatory proteins in phage-resistant strains. Our results revealed that bacteriophage-resistant bacteria downregulate the expression of quorum-sensing regulatory proteins, such as LuxM, LuxN, and LuxP. This downregulation attenuates the normal perception of quorum-sensing peptides and subsequently diminishes the expression of cell density regulatory proteins, including LuxU, aphA, and LuxR. These findings align with the diverse phenotypic traits observed in the phage-resistant strains, such as altered biofilm formation, reduced planktonic growth, and reduced virulence. Moreover, the transcriptional depletion of aphA, the master regulator associated with low cell density, was linked to the downregulation of genes related to virulence. This phenomenon appears to be phage-specific, suggesting a finely tuned metabolic adaptation driven by phage–host interaction. These findings contribute to our understanding of the role of Vibrio species in microbial marine ecology and highlight the complex interplay between phage resistance, quorum sensing, and bacterial physiology. Full article
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