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any of a group of viruses that infect specific bacteria, usually causing their disintegration or dissolution.
a virus that is parasitic in a bacterium and multiplies within its host, which is destroyed when the new viruses are released Often shortened to phage

1921, from French bactériophage (1917), from bacterio-, comb. form of bacteria, + -phage.

bacteriophage bac·te·ri·o·phage (bāk-tēr’ē-ə-fāj’)
A virus capbale of infecting and lysing bacterial cells. Also called phage.
A virus that infects and destroys bacterial cells.


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