Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Bacteriophage Ecology Group Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Killing the Winner (Kill the Winner)


Frequency-dependent selection on bacterial phage-susceptibility types as mediated by phages.

Winners are bacteria that have achieved sufficient numbers that they are capable of supporting phage population growth to densities that can drastically reduce in number these same phage-susceptible bacteria. Active phage therapy requires that bacteria either have achieved or will achieve a winner status whereas passive phage therapy can be effective even against non-winner bacterial types.

Note that the frequency-dependent selection involved in kill the winner can more specifically be described as stabilizing frequency-dependent selection. Note also that contrary to the "winner" state there is phage existence at densities that can be described as numerical refuges.

For review of concept of kill the winner, see Thingstad et al. (2008).


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