Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Bacteriophage Ecology Group Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Single Infection


A cell that has been adsorbed and consequently infected by only one virus.

Typically when describing a single infection one disregards whether the bacterium being infected is or is not a lysogen and this is because it is assumed that the singly infecting phage and lysogen will only minimally interact. Indeed, the use of this term, single infection, can be particularly to distinguish infections that are initiated by multiple phages of the same type versus only a single phage rather than to distinguish between bacteria that have been infected by a single phage type versus more than one phage type. Contrast multiple infection.

The use of single infection is often operational, specifying conditions in which infection is likely but multiple infection is not. Consistently, this is the definition from Adams (1959), p. 442: "Multiplicity of infection considerably less than one, so that most of the infected bacteria in a culture are infected with only one phage particle."


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