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Bacteriocide Mode of Action

Below, is an illustration created to portray a bacteriophage's lifestyle choices and how the toxin-phage bacteriocide antibiotic works (the illustrations also make interesting desktop pictures.)

Toxin-phage Bacteriocide Antibiotic
Toxin-phage Bacteriocide Antibiotic
The phage infects the bacteria by injecting its DNA into the bacterial cell.

The phage manufactures copies of itself.

Toxin-phage Bacteriocide mode of action

The phage DNA integrates into the bacteria's DNA upon infection.

The phage DNA carries a gene for a toxic peptide that becomes active only after bacterial infection.

The phage burst out and kill the bacteria, then go on to attack more of the same species of bacteria.

The bacteria grow and reproduce normally while harboring the phage DNA.

The bacteria produces a toxic peptide.

The Toxin-phage Bacteriocide insures that the bacteria that become lysogenic are eradicated.
Photographs prepared by MaryAnn Nilsson

Copyright © 2002 The Rowland Institute at Harvard.
Last modified Thursday, October 09, 2003.