Phages Newly discovered virus kills "sleeping" bacteria in superbug breakthrough (Jan 2024) Phage Paride can kill dormant, antibiotic-tolerant cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa by direct lytic replication

Michael Harrop

Active member
Jul 6, 2023


Bacteriophages are ubiquitous viral predators that have primarily been studied using fast-growing laboratory cultures of their bacterial hosts. However, microbial life in nature is mostly in a slow- or non-growing, dormant state.

Here, we show that diverse phages can infect deep-dormant bacteria and suspend their replication until the host resuscitates (“hibernation”). However, a newly isolated Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage, named Paride, can directly replicate and induce the lysis of deep-dormant hosts.

While non-growing bacteria are notoriously tolerant to antibiotic drugs, the combination with Paride enables the carbapenem meropenem to eradicate deep-dormant cultures in vitro and to reduce a resilient bacterial infection of a tissue cage implant in mice.

Our work might inspire new treatments for persistent bacterial infections and, more broadly, highlights two viral strategies to infect dormant bacteria (hibernation and direct replication) that will guide future studies on phage-host interactions.
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