Unveiling Secrets of Viruses-Bacteria Interactions in Man-Made Environments

Professor Patrick Lee Kwan-Hon (right) in the School of Energy and Environment (SEE) at CityU, and Miss Du Shicong, PhD student in SEE, and the team collected samples from different types of man-made environments in Hong Kong for the research.
(Credit: City University of Hong Kong)

Viruses in man-made environments cause public health concerns, but they are generally less studied than bacteria. A recent study led by environmental scientists from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has provided the first evidence of frequent interactions between viruses and bacteria in man-made environments. It found that viruses can potentially help host bacteria adapt and survive in nutrient-depleted man-made environments through a unique gene insertion. By understanding these virus–bacteria interactions and identifying the possible spread of antibiotic resistance genes, the research team hopes its latest findings can help derive effective control strategies to minimize human exposure to harmful microorganisms.

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