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Biotechnol Prog. 2006 Nov-Dec;22(6):1650-8.

Investigation of bacteriophage MS2 viral dynamics using model discrimination analysis and the implications for phage therapy.

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Department of Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269, USA.


Lytic phages infect their bacterial hosts, use the host machinery to replicate, and finally lyse and kill their hosts, releasing progeny phages. Various mathematical models have been developed that describe these phage-host viral dynamics. The aim of this study was to determine which of these models best describes the viral dynamics of lytic RNA phage MS2 and its host Escherichia coli C-3000. Experimental data consisted of uninfected and infected bacterial cell densities, free phage density, and substrate concentration. Parameters of various models were either determined directly through other experimental techniques or estimated using regression analysis of the experimental data. The models were evaluated using a Bayesian-based model discrimination technique. Through model discrimination it was shown that phage-resistant cells inhibited the growth of phage population. It was also shown that the uninfected bacterial population was a quasispecies consisting of phage-sensitive and phage-resistant bacterial cells. When there was a phage attack the phage-sensitive cells died out and the phage-resistant cells were selected for and became the dominant strain of the bacterial population.

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