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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 May;8(5):317-27. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2315. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

Bacteriophage resistance mechanisms.

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Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Phages are now acknowledged as the most abundant microorganisms on the planet and are also possibly the most diversified. This diversity is mostly driven by their dynamic adaptation when facing selective pressure such as phage resistance mechanisms, which are widespread in bacterial hosts. When infecting bacterial cells, phages face a range of antiviral mechanisms, and they have evolved multiple tactics to avoid, circumvent or subvert these mechanisms in order to thrive in most environments. In this Review, we highlight the most important antiviral mechanisms of bacteria as well as the counter-attacks used by phages to evade these systems.

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