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Bacteriophage Question

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Bacteriophage Question

Postby Toolband » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:59 pm

Would you expect bacteriophage to infect a human cell?
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Postby mith » Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:07 am

why not? it's a virus.
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Postby canalon » Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:30 am

mithrilhack wrote:why not? it's a virus.

Because it is a bacterial virus? Because it thus won't find any surface receptor adapted to trigger DNA injection? And because probably it wouldn't then be able to replicate?
Many reasons, don't you think? :wink:

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Postby Toolband » Wed Sep 07, 2005 1:02 am

does a bacteriophage have RNA or DNA? or maybe the proteins on the surface of a bacteriophage would pobably not match the suface molecules of a human cell?

hmm...Also i suppose if bacteriophages are heterotrophs they could infect a human cell. Any thoughts?
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Postby mith » Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:16 am

@Patrick

So are bacteriophages completely safe to humans?
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Postby iri_black » Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:36 am

If it would infect a human cell, would it still be a bacteriophage? :)
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Postby DevGrp » Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:54 am

On the other hand bacteriophage could have a serious effect on bacterial flora within a human. Bacteriophage could change the population of gut bacteria and this could have a deleterious effect.
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Postby victor » Wed Sep 07, 2005 11:56 am

Um, E.coli is a bacteria located inside our body also...would Bacteriophage infection to these bacteria can be called infection to human?
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Postby canalon » Wed Sep 07, 2005 1:16 pm

Bacteriophages are safe to human since they do not enter eukaryotic cell, they can even be picky about which bacteria they infect... In fact phage typing is a method used to differntiate between strains of a same bacterial species (or subspecies as in Salmonella enterica Typhimurium DT 104, DT stands for "Definitive Type" and is defined as a pattern of resistance and sensibility to some phages...). In fact some people even suggest that phage therapy could be a good way to cure bacterial infections, but there are still too many problems for it to reach bedside yet.

As for the deleterious effect of a phage to our gut, in theory it could be true, but since we ingest plenty of phages all the time, the experience proves that they are not all that potnt in term of bactericidal effect and that our flora is diverse and rich enough to fill in every gap that may be created. In this respect the wide spectrum of antibacterial activity of antibiotics is probably much more deleterious.

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Postby CynMari » Wed Sep 07, 2005 1:29 pm

are there any bacteriophages that infect bacteria and cause by-products that humans are sensitive to??
is that possible?
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Postby MrMistery » Wed Sep 07, 2005 6:37 pm

Hmm... I don't think so... I can't imagine any scenario like that...
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Postby canalon » Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:30 pm

Any bacteriophage causing the production of harmful compound? No. Yet...

Yet some bacteriophages can cause transduction of genes, and those genes can be resistance genes or pathogenic islands, and thus can be considered harmful! SO the scenario is not absurd at all...

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