Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Bacteriophage Ecology Group Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Productive Infection


A phage infection that directly leads to the maturation and release of phage progeny which then are released either by lysis or, instead, chronically.

Productive infections may be initiated either upon adsorption (an infection that is immediately productive), following lytic-lysogeny decisions (also an immediately productive infection), or via induction (induced productive infection). Productive infections also can follow resolution of the pseudolysogenic state.

Often in phage biology the phrase "lytic infection" is used when "productive infection" is more appropriate. This is because most phages release their progeny lytically rather than chronically during productive infections. As a result, when ignoring chronic infections, it is possible to use lytic infection as a synonym for productive.

As a generalization, we thus can also speak of obligately productive phages, but this term is rarely employed, though potentially useful, again with the phrase "lytic infection" often used when "productive infection" could be more appropriate.


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