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Bacteriophage Host Ranges Prediction by Computation

Author(s): Nikolas Brown

The development of bacteriophage agents for a variety of uses in agriculture, biotechnology, and medicine has been motivated by increased antibiotic resistance. The host range of a bacteriophage, or the bacterial genera, species, and strains that a bacteriophage can infect, is an important consideration in the selection of agents for these applications. Although experimental host range studies are still the gold standard, they are naturally confined to a small number of viruses and bacteria that can be cultivated. We present a review of recently developed bioinformatic methods that provide a potential and high-throughput alternative by computationally predicting the possible host ranges of bacteriophages, even those that are difficult to culture in laboratory settings.

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