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Phages cause enormous economic losses in food production, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Conversely, they can serve as measures for controlling pathogenic bacteria through phage therapy. Phage resistance is therefore often wanted to ensure stable production lines but also often the hindrance to successful treatment of bacterial infections. Intriguingly, we have new evidence that they interact with other molecular parasites, plasmids, inside bacterial cells, often excluding each other. Thus, expertise on phage-plasmid interactions can be exploited both to control phages in the industry and for optimization of phage therapy. This research proposal will, based on plasmid encoded phage exclusion, provide solutions to (i) develop phage resistance in productions cultures directly benefitting the food industry and (ii) to avoid phage resistance in therapeutic settings with immeasurable potential for developments in phage therapy applications.

Phagemid: A DFF-FTP grant on Phage and plasmid interactions in bacteria is lead by PostDoc Witold Kot and supervised by Lars Hansen.