On Phage Adsorption to Bacterial Chains

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Bacteria often arrange themselves in various spatial configurations, which changes how they interact with their surroundings. In this work, we investigate how the structure of the bacterial arrangements influences the adsorption of bacteriophages. We quantify how the adsorption rate scales with the number of bacteria in the arrangement and show that the adsorption rates for microcolonies (increasing with exponent similar to 1/3) and bacterial chains (increasing with exponent similar to 0.5-0.8) are substantially lower than for well-mixed bacteria (increasing with exponent 1). We further show that, after infection, the spatially clustered arrangements reduce the effective burst size by more than 50% and cause substantial superinfections in a very short time interval after phage lysis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1896-1904
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2020

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