, Volume 157, Issue 2, pp 225-234
Date: 02 Nov 2011

Characterization of a bacteriophage, isolated from a cow with mastitis, that is lytic against Staphylococcus aureus strains

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Abstract

Methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are now the most commonly reported antibiotic-resistant bacterium in clinical settings. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel antibacterial agents to control this pathogen. Bacteriophage therapy is a potential alternative treatment for MRSA infections. The objective of this study was characterization of a novel virulent bacteriophage (MSA6) isolated from a cow with mastitis. Electron microscopy showed its resemblance to members of the family Myoviridae, with an isometric head (66 nm) and a long contractile tail (173 nm). The genome of phage MSA6 was tested by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and estimated to be about 143 kb. It exhibited rapid adsorption (>82% in 5 min), a short latent period (15 min) and a relatively small burst size (23 PFU/cell). Isolated phage was capable of infecting a wide spectrum of staphylococcal strains of both human and bovine origin. The results of this investigation indicate that MSA6 is similar to other bacteriophages belonging to the family Myoviridae (Twort, K, G1, 812) that have been successfully used in bacteriophage therapy.