Carlos São-José

Phage Biology Research and Infection Control

The PhaBRIC lab addresses key biologic questions concerning the interaction of phages with their bacterial hosts. As a major research topic, the lab seeks to understand the action of phage proteins that disrupt the bacterial cell envelope, and to explore this knowledge to develop innovative strategies to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Infection diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are widely recognized as a one of the major threats to human health and global economy. High societal impacts are foreseen if alternative antimicrobial agents are not found to compensate the failure of conventional antibiotics. Bacteriophages and their bactericidal functions (re)gained much interest in the last years as promising therapeutic options, with emerging technological approaches building on solid knowledge accumulated after decades of research on these special viruses. The PhaBRIC lab studies molecular details of the phage-host cell interactions taking place during virus entry to bacteria, and then at the end of viral replication when the phage progeny is released to the extracellular space through bacteriolysis. The lab has pioneering work on the proteins and mechanisms that phages use to target and compromise the different layers of the bacterial cell envelope. This fundamental knowledge has been used to devise phage-based agents that specifically target and kill drug-resistant bacterial pathogens, such as Staphylococcus spp., Enterococcus spp. and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and which minimize resistance development. PhaBRIC collaborates with the biotech company TechnoPhage in the development of antibacterial products of phage origin.

Pinto D, Gonçalo R, Louro M, Silva MS, Hernandez G, Cordeiro TN, Cordeiro C, São-José C. On the occurrence and multimerization of two-polypeptide phage endolysins encoded in single genes. Microbiol Spectr. 2022; 10:e0103722. DOI: 10.1128/spectrum.01037-22.
Gouveia A, Pinto D, Veiga H, Antunes W, Pinho MG, São-José C. Synthetic antimicrobial peptides as enhancers of the bacteriolytic action of Staphylococcal phage endolysins. Sci Rep. 2022; 12:1245. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-05361-1.
Gigante AM, Olivença F, Catalão MJ, Leandro P, Moniz-Pereira J, Filipe SR, Pimentel M. The Mycobacteriophage Ms6 LysB N-Terminus displays peptidoglycan binding affinity. Viruses. 2021;13:1377. DOI: 10.3390/v13071377.
Catalão MJ, Filipe SR, Pimentel M. Revisiting anti-tuberculosis therapeutic strategies that target the peptidoglycan structure and synthesis. Front Microbiol. 2019; 10:190. DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00190.

Carlos São-José

Group Leader


Phone: (+351) 217946420 (Ext. 14223)

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Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa | Av. Professor Gama Pinto
1649-003 Lisboa | Portugal

Phone | +351 217 946 400
Fax | +351 217 946 470
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