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Virus-Host Coevolution as a Tool for Controlling Bacterial Resistance to Phage Therapy

Author(s): Ezequiel Monferrer, Pilar Domingo-Calap

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a global public health concern. New treatments are needed to combat resistant strains, among which phage therapy is a promising option. Probably the main advantages of phage therapy are its high specificity as well as rapid viral adaptability, which in principle allows using phage evolution to overcome resistance. Here, we have performed serial coevolution passages between Escherichia coli and its phage T7 to investigate the ability of coevolved phages to reduce the emergence of resistances. We find that the initial bacterial population is less likely to undergo resistance when challenged with experimentally coevolved phages than when challenged with the wild-type phage. Hence, our findings suggest that coevolved phage preparations could be used to increase the efficacy of phage therapy.

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