Bacteria
Small, single-celled organisms found on almost all Earth surfaces. Bacteria may be beneficial (e.g. bacteria in the gut to help digest food) or pathogenic (e.g. bacteria causing an infection in the lungs). The bacterium is the singular term for bacteria (plural).
Bacteriophage
Also known as phage. Phage is a virus that infects and replicates within bacteria. Often, phage lyse cells, killing the bacterial host.
Bioinformatics
The use of methods and software tools for collecting, storing, analysing and dissementating biological data. Particularly, information about genomics and the genetic information to increase our understanding of diseases in medical science.
Endotoxin
Molecules found in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria which may induce an immune response in humans and animals (e.g. inflammation or fever)
Genome
All genetic information of an organism (e.g. human, bacteria, phage). It is made up of DNA or RNA.
Gram-negative
A classification of bacteria that contain a thin peptidoglycan layer and possess an outer membrane
Gram-positive
A classification of bacteria that contain a thick peptidoglycan wall within their cell walls.
Immune response
A reaction to protect a host (human or animal) against foreign invaders (e.g. bacteria, parasites, viruses, fungi)
Infection (to infect)
The invasion and growth of pathogens (e.g. bacteria or viruses) within the body. An infection is a disease caused by microorganisms.
Inflammation
A specific immune response of the body characterised by swelling, heat, redness and pain.
Isolate
This word may be used in various ways. 1/ Physically isolating a single bacterium from a patient, animal, or environmental source from culturing in the lab 2/ The act of separating one single bacteria from multiple bacterial colonies 3/ A single bacterial sample from a patient, animal or environmental source
Lysis (to lyse)
The destruction or disintegration of a cell by rupture of the cell wall or membrane
Lysogenic (lysogeny)
The lifecycle of a temperate phage that is characterised by the integration of the phage nuclueic acid into the bacterial genome.
Lytic
The lifecycle of a typic phage that is characterised by the lysis or destruction of the bacterial cells.
Nucleic acid
Large biomolecules that store and express genetic information within organisms
Phage biobank
A large collection or repository that stores phage samples for research purposes. This may be a physical collection in a fridge or freezer, and/or an online list of phages.
Phage therapy
The therapuetic application of phages for the treatment, management or prevention of pathogenic bacterial infections.
Plaque
A clear circular zone of clearing in a confluent growth of bacteria. The clear zone indicates bacterial lysis caused by a phage.
Plaque assay
A method which involves mixing a sample of phage/virus with cultured cells with the purpose of counting the infectious particles.
QA / QC
The combination of quality assurance and quality control. These are processes to measure and assure the quality of a product, and focus on defect identification of a product.
STAMP
A ‘Standardised Treatment And Monitoring Protocol’ designed by clinicians and researchers to assess the safety and tolerability of phage therapy in adults and children (STAMP study).
Serum
The clear liquid of the blood that remains after the red blood cells are removed. Also known as as blood plasma.
Strain
A subtype or a culture within a biological species. A genetic variation from another subtype.
Virus
A submicroscopic infectious agent that only replicates within living cells.
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