Microbial Ecology

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 954–963 | Cite as

Isolation and Partial Characterization of a Virulent Bacteriophage IHQ1 Specific for Aeromonas punctata from Stream Water

  • Irshad Ul Haq
  • Waqas Nasir Chaudhry
  • Saadia Andleeb
  • Ishtiaq Qadri
Host Microbe Interactions


Aeromonas punctata is the causative agent of septicemia, diarrhea, wound infections, meningitis, peritonitis, and infections of the joints, bones and eyes. Bacteriophages are often considered alternative agents for controlling bacterial infection and contamination. In this study, we described the isolation and preliminary characterization of bacteriophage IHQ1 (family Myoviridae) active against the Gram-negative bacterial strain A. punctata. This virulent bacteriophage was isolated from stream water sample. Genome analysis indicated that phage IHQ1 was a double-stranded DNA virus with an approximate genome size of 25–28 kb. The initial characterization of this newly isolated phage showed that it has a narrow host range and infects only A. punctata as it failed to infect seven other clinically isolated pathogenic strains, i.e., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 6403, MRSA 17644, Acinetobacter 33408, Acinetobacter 1172, Pseudomonas aeruginosa 22250, P. aeruginosa 11219, and Escherichia coli. Proteomic pattern of phage IHQ1, generated by SDS-PAGE using purified phage particles, showed three major and three minor protein bands with molecular weights ranging from 25 to 70 kDa. The adsorption rate of phage IHQ1 to the host bacterium was also determined, which was significantly enhanced by the addition of 10 mM CaCl2. From the single-step growth experiment, it was inferred that the latent time period of phage IHQ1 was 24 min and a burst size of 626 phages per cell. Moreover, the pH and thermal stability of phage IHQ1 were also investigated. The maximum stability of the phage was observed at optimal pH 7.0, and it was totally unstable at extreme acidic pH 3; however, it was comparatively stable at alkaline pH 11.0. At 37°C the phage showed maximum number of plaques, and the viability was almost 100%. The existence of Aeromonas bacteriophage is very promising for the eradication of this opportunistic pathogen and also for future applications such as the design of new detection and phage typing (diagnosis) methods. The specificity of the bacteriophage for A. punctata makes it an attractive candidate for phage therapy of A. punctata infections.


Acinetobacter Aeromonas Burst Size Phage Therapy Ammonium Acetate Solution 
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We would like to acknowledge Dr. Sohail Hamid and Mr. Javed Iqbal from the National Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad, for transmission electron microscopy. We are thankful to Mr. Muhammad Shafique, Microbiology lab, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), Pakistan, for providing bacterial strains to carry out phage host range experiments. We are thankful to the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST), Pakistan, for providing funding to Dr. Ishtiaq Qadri.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irshad Ul Haq
    • 1
  • Waqas Nasir Chaudhry
    • 1
  • Saadia Andleeb
    • 1
  • Ishtiaq Qadri
    • 1
  1. 1.NUST Center of Virology & Immunology (NCVI)National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST)IslamabadPakistan

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