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Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2011;13(2):51-76. Epub 2011 Apr 18.

Filamentous bacteriophage: biology, phage display and nanotechnology applications.

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Institute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.


Filamentous bacteriophage, long and thin filaments that are secreted from the host cells without killing them, have been an antithesis to the standard view of head-and-tail bacterial killing machines. Episomally replicating filamentous phage Ff of Escherichia coli provide the majority of information about the principles and mechanisms of filamentous phage infection, episomal replication and assembly. Chromosomally- integrated "temperate" filamentous phage have complex replication and integration, which are currently under active investigation. The latter are directly or indirectly implicated in diseases caused by bacterial pathogens Vibrio cholerae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Neisseria meningitidis. In the first half of the review, both the Ff and temperate phage are described and compared. A large section of the review is devoted to an overview of phage display technology and its applications in nanotechnology.

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