, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 0163-0168

Homogeneity of the Morphological Groups of Bacteriophages Infecting Bacteroides fragilis Strain HSP40 and Strain RYC2056

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Bacteriophages infecting Bacteroides fragilis strains RYC2056 and HSP40 have been proposed as indicators of water quality. To accomplish this function, homogeneity of the group of phages detected by these strains is necessary to ensure that the final results are not due to the different kinetics of inactivation of the phages. To evaluate homogeneity, we observed by electron microscopy bacteriophages isolated from sewage with two Bacteroides fragilis strains (HSP40 and RYC2056). A predominant group of phages was observed, Siphoviridae with slightly curved tails. Detection of other minority groups, which could be present in the sample, was done with neutralization experiments by using antiserum against the majority group and with host mutants resistant to infection with the predominant phage. Although two other minority groups were observed, results showed that bacteriophages infecting B. fragilis strain HSP40 and strain RYC2056 form a homogeneous group, Siphoviridae with slightly curved tails being the most predominant in sewage.

Received: 7 March 2002 / Accepted: 5 August 2002