Unique viruses called bacteriophages may play an important role in competition among bacterial strains, influencing the overall ecosystem of the human intestine, scientists at UT Arlington and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say.
Biology Assistant Professor Jorge Rodrigues is part of a team led by Lora V. Hooper, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at UT Southwestern, that examined the bacteriophages, or phages, produced by genetic information harbored in the chromosome of the mammalian gut bacterium Enterococcus faecalis.
They found that a phage unique to Enterococcus faecalis strain V583 in mice acts as a predator, infecting and harming other similar, competing bacterial strains. They believe these lab results suggest what goes on in the human intestine.
Read more about the bacteriophages research.