Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Bacteriophage Ecology Group Bacteriophage Ecology Group



Phage infection of an already phage-infected bacterium, including when that preexisting phage infection is lysogenic and particularly when a delay exists between primary and secondary adsorption.

The original infection may be productive, reductive, or even a phage "destructive". See also superinfection immunity and superinfection exclusion.

Note that many authors have used the term superinfection as a synonym for what here I describe instead as secondary adsorption. Inconsistent with that perspective is the definition from Adams (1959), p. 442: "Reinfection of bacteria already infected some minutes before, or reinfection of lysogenic bacteria." Similarly, from (1971), p. 777: "Reinfection by a phage of a cell that carries a prophage, or is otherwise already infected." That is, it would be necessary to equate adsorption with infection to describe superinfection in terms that are equivalent to the definition of secondary adsorption.

The concept of secondary infection can be viewed similarly to that of superinfection, though with the same caveats regarding whether phage adsorption alone may be described as equivalent to infection.


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