Matrix-trapped viruses can prevent invasion of bacterial biofilms by colonizing cells

Bond, Matthew C. and Vidakovic, Lucia and Singh, Praveen K. and Drescher, Knut and Nadell, Carey D.. (2021) Matrix-trapped viruses can prevent invasion of bacterial biofilms by colonizing cells. eLife, 10. e65355.

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Bacteriophages can be trapped in the matrix of bacterial biofilms, such that the cells inside them are protected. It is not known whether these phages are still infectious and whether they pose a threat to newly arriving bacteria. Here, we address these questions using textitEscherichia coli and its lytic phage T7. Prior work has demonstrated that T7 phages are bound in the outermost curli polymer layers of the textitE. coli biofilm matrix. We show that these phages do remain viable and can kill colonizing cells that are T7-susceptible. If cells colonize a resident biofilm before phages do, we find that they can still be killed by phage exposure if it occurs soon thereafter. However, if colonizing cells are present on the biofilm long enough before phage exposure, they gain phage protection via envelopment within curli-producing clusters of the resident biofilm cells.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Infection Biology > Microbiology and Biophysics (Drescher)
UniBasel Contributors:Drescher, Knut
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:eLife Sciences Publications
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:08 Mar 2022 11:04
Deposited On:08 Mar 2022 11:04

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