Research Article

Bacteriophage trigger antiviral immunity and prevent clearance of bacterial infection

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Science  29 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6434, eaat9691
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat9691

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Phage subverts immune response

Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) is a multidrug-resistant Gramnegative bacterium commonly found in health care settings. Pa infections frequently result in considerable morbidity and mortality. Sweere et al. found that a type of temperate filamentous bacteriophage that infects and integrates into Pa is associated with chronic human wound infections. Likewise, wounds in mice colonized with phage-infected Pa were more severe and longer-lasting than those colonized by Pa alone. Immune cell uptake of phage-infected Pa resulted in phage RNA production and inappropriate antiviral immune responses, impeding bacterial clearance. Both phage vaccination and transfer of antiphage antibodies were protective against Pa infection.

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