|The microbiome is a complex community of bacteria,|
viruses, and other microbes.
Microbial communities are fierce battlegrounds between bacteria and other microbes competing for limited resources. One method some bacteria use to kill their competitors is the production of bacteriocins. Bacteriocins are protein toxins produced by bacteria to limit the growth of related bacteria, thereby providing a competitive advantage to the bacteriocin-producing bacteria. This dynamic is important to our health because it can impact bacterial infections and overall microbiome composition. The group of Nedialkova et al recently added a whole new level of insight into bacteriocins and microbial ecology by linking bacteriocin production to the presence of bacteriophages (bacterial viruses).