Bacteriophages as Friends and Enemies
Bacteriophages are viruses that infect and destroy bacteria. They are the most abundant and diverse biological entities on the planet. They play a significant role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems.
But bacteriophages can be both our friends and enemies. They act as friends when they suppress harmful bacterial populations, including infectious bacteria. Such phages can have industrial and medical applications as biological control agents. However, bacteriphages act as enemies when they destroy bacteria that play an important role, particularly in the food industry.
Dr. Sylvain Moineau, Canada Research Chair in Bacteriophages, aims to improve knowledge of the biology of phages. He is using an integrated approach that combines genomic and proteomic data, as well as data from other fields, to better understand interactions between phages and bacteria.
He aims to develop new tools that would eliminate bacteriophages in dairy fermentation and that could be used as antibacterials in public health and in a wide variety of industries.
Moineau’s research will go far towards increasing the friendly use of bacteriophages and to reducing their more harmful traits.