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In the Covid-19 Fight, the Enemy of My Enemy, Might Just be My Friend

September 3rd, 2020

Subscribing to the age-old maxim, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’, municipalities are turning to an unlikely ally in their latest effort to proactively monitor and manage Covid-19 hotspots before they emerge: the ubiquitous bacteriophage. The evolutionary enemy of bacteria, a phage is actually a virus which infect and kill bacteria. The thinking is that by using the same laboratory techniques to measure certain types of phage populations (in addition to the Covid-19 virus) residing in municipal wastewater tanks, molecular biologists are able to predictively determine the location and severity of yet unreported Covid-19 outbreaks. The ultimate goal is to use these insights to perform preemptive targeted testing, contact tracing, or take measures in high risk communities.

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