A simulation framework for the interaction between lytic phages and biofilm-dwelling bacteria

Many bacteria are adapted for attaching to surfaces and building complex communities, or biofilms. This mode of life is predominant in microbial ecology. So, too, is exposure of bacteria to viral pathogens, the bacteriophages. It is likely that biofilm- phage encounters are common in nature, but we know very little about how phages might interact with biofilm-dwelling bacteria. Making headway in this relatively unknown area requires new techniques, and here we develop the first biofilm simulation framework that captures key features of biofilm growth and phage infection. We describe the framework in detail and use it to study the population dynamics of lytic phages and susceptible bacterial hosts in biofilms. 

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CC BY 4.0