Bacteriophages-Bacteria interactions in Animals

Since their discovery in the early twentieth century, researchers have exploited bacteriophages (viruses that infect only bacteria). Firstly, bacteriophages have been used to fight against bacterial infections, used as models for studying basic cellular mechanisms (replication, transcription, regulation ...) and more recently, have become valuable tools in biotechnology. The extensive study of bacteriophages has led to the birth and development of molecular biology, which has become part of everyday life for most researchers studying Biology (for details, see History).


Laurent Debarbieux





Surprisingly, bacteriophages have been poorly studied in the environment where they are ubiquitous (at sea, on land and even in the air). They are also found in many biological sites (gut, mouth, skin ...). Their presence is directly linked to the presence of bacteria, but their role is still obscure. Our main objective is to study the interactions between virulent bacteriophages and bacteria in animals in two particular situations. First, we seek to understand how these interactions evolve within a complex microbial ecosystem, the digestive tract of mammals.


Second, we study the parameters required to develop the therapeutic use of bacteriophage (phage therapy). This medical practice, originally developed in France a century ago, is now back on the forefront of the international scene because it represents a major solution to fight against bacterial infections caused by antibiotics resistant bacteria. Our studies focus specifically on the treatment of pulmonary infections.


Unité de Biologie Moléculaire du Gène chez les Extrêmophiles (BMGE)

Bâtiment Fernbach 3eme étage

Institut Pasteur, 25 rue Dr. Roux

75724 Paris cedex 15 France



Ana Cova






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