E. coli that is recoded to be virus resistant may aid drug production

Changing Escherichia coli‘s genetic code may enable the recoded bacterium to be grown in large vats for drug production, without the risk of a viral infection upending the process


4 August 2022

Genetically engineered Escherichia coli is involved in the production of many chemicals and drugs, such as insulin, but unmodified versions of the bacterium can be infected by viruses

Ezume Images/Shutterstock

Some viruses can infect and kill a recoded Escherichia coli bacterium that was supposedly resistant to all viral infections, but further changes have made the bacterium much more virus-resistant.

Many chemicals and drugs, such as insulin, are produced by growing genetically engineered E. coli in large vats, but bacteria-infecting viruses called bacteriophages can wreak havoc. “If a single bacteriophage gets into these …


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