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"Bacteriophages (phages) are the viruses of bacteria and biofilms represent a frequent niche for bacteria, where they are embedded in extensive extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) and can be structured into complex microcolonies. As a consequence of the resulting spatial structure and heterogeneity, phage-bacterial interactions within biofilms can be more complicated than those between phages and planktonic bacteria. Towards gaining a better understanding of the biology of phages interacting with biofilms, in this monograph I provide an overview of the subject, divided into five areas: (i) The many facets of phage-biofilm interactive biology including consideration of virus trapping, phage hydrolytic enzymes such as EPS depolymerases, infection of biofilm bacteria, and phage prevalence within natural biofilms. (ii) Prophage-biofilm interactions including in terms of prophage modification of biofilm structure or function along with the potential for biofilms to resist phage attack. (iii) A critical review of the literature concerning phage use as biofilm prevention or eradication agents (phage therapy or phage-mediated biocontrol). (iv) Discussion of phage-biofilm interactions from the perspective of phage-plaque development, since plaque formation might inform phage-biofilm interactions plus may be better understood at microscales than phage interactions with biofilm bacteria. And (v), exploration of issues pertaining to phage penetration into the bacterial microcolonies. I also provide discussions related to phage-biofilm interactions including of Poisson distributions, multiplicity of infection, calculating killing titers (phage numbers killing bacteria), calculating decimal reduction times of bacteria following phage application, and the concept of pseudolysogeny. I stress that key to understanding the dynamics of phage-bacterial interactions within biofilms is a combination of addressing how phages move towards and move away from target bacteria, including in terms of the phage potential to burrow into bacterial microcolonies. I also suggest that that it may not be necessary for phages, even if they specialize on biofilm bacteria, to extensively destroy naturally occurring biofilms in order to prosper."
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Note that the "zeroth edition" of the book, that is, the chapter-basis of the book, which is open access, can be found here.