In this article, we will discuss about the mechanism of action of bacteriophages (viruses that infect the bacteria). Bacteriophages attack the bacteria cells, attach with them and rupturing their cell wall. After this, they release their genetic material inside the bacteria. Replication occur and new generation causes infection in bacteria. Bacteriophages was first discovered in 1915 in tobacco mosaic virus. Their pathogenic nature was confirmed in 1935. Several types of bacteriophages cause different diseases.
INTRODUCTION OF MECHANISM OF ACTION OF BACTERIOPHAGES:
Bacteriophages, or simply phages, are viruses that specifically infect and kill bacteria. They have gained significant attention as potential alternatives to antibiotics due to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Understanding the mechanism of action of bacteriophages is crucial for harnessing their therapeutic potential. This article aims to explore the intricate mechanisms by which bacteriophages infect and destroy bacteria, highlighting their potential as a powerful tool in the fight against bacterial infections. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493185
MECHANISM OF ACTION OF BACTERIOPHAGES:
1. ATTACHMENT AND ADSORPTION:
The first step in the bacteriophage infection process is attachment and adsorption. Bacteriophages possess tail fibers or spikes that recognize and bind to specific receptors on the surface of the bacterial cell. This interaction is highly specific, allowing each phage to target a particular bacterial species or strain.
Once attached, the bacteriophage injects its genetic material, either DNA or RNA, into the bacterial cell. This process is facilitated by the contraction of the phage’s tail sheath, which acts like a syringe, delivering the genetic material into the bacterial cytoplasm.
3. REPLICATION AND GENE EXPRESSION:
Once inside the bacterial cell, the phage hijacks the host’s cellular machinery to replicate its genetic material and produce viral components. The phage’s genes are transcribed and translated, leading to the production of viral proteins and the replication of the phage’s genetic material.
4. ASSEMBLY AND MATURATION:
The newly synthesized viral components are assembled into complete phage particles. This process involves the packaging of the replicated genetic material into the phage capsid, resulting in the formation of mature phage particles.
5. LYSIS AND RELEASE:
In the final stage of the infection cycle, the bacteriophage triggers the lysis, or bursting, of the bacterial cell. This is achieved through the production of lytic enzymes, such as endolysins, which degrade the bacterial cell wall. The release of the newly formed phage particles allows them to infect and destroy other bacterial cells in the vicinity.
The mechanism of action of bacteriophages involves a series of steps, including attachment and adsorption, penetration, replication and gene expression, assembly and maturation, and lysis and release. Bacteriophages have evolved to specifically target and infect bacteria, making them a promising alternative to antibiotics in the fight against bacterial infections. Understanding the intricate mechanisms by which bacteriophages interact with bacteria provides valuable insights into their therapeutic potential. Further research in this field will continue to enhance our understanding of bacteriophage biology and their application in combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
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