Finding antibiotic resistance genes and virulence genes in phages

**UPDATE** see INPHARED paper for a more recent analysis than below 

See PhageLeads here, for online detection of ARGs and virulence genes in phages and  their suitability for phage therapy


There is much on going debate as to how important phages are in the carriage of antibiotic resistance genes. With reports varying from this a very uncommon event (ISME J. 2017 Jan; 11(1): 237–247.) to phages are important reservoirs ( ). As part of her undergrad research project A Coates, looked at the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes within complete (near complete) phage genomes.

Using fairly stringent criteria only ~ 0.2% of phage genomes were found to carry a putative ARG. *Some phages have an ARG inserted in their genome to study them, differentiation between this and natural carriage is not always easy.

Table of phages that have putative ARGs is below

[table “lt59gt” not found /]

The same database of phage genomes was also used to look for virulence genes. ~3% of phage genomes were found to contain one or more putative virulence gene.

[table “lt60gt” not found /]