Isolation and Characterisation of Lytic Bacteriophages of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Klebsiella oxytoca
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Klebsiella bacteria have emerged as an increasingly important cause of community-acquired nosocomial infections. Extensive use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in hospitalised patients has led to both increased carriage of Klebsiella and the development of multidrug-resistant strains that frequently produce extended-spectrum β-lactamases and/or other defences against antibiotics. Many of these strains are highly virulent and exhibit a strong propensity to spread. In this study, six lytic Klebsiella bacteriophages were isolated from sewage-contaminated river water in Georgia and characterised as phage therapy candidates. Two of the phages were investigated in greater detail. Biological properties, including phage morphology, nucleic acid composition, host range, growth phenotype, and thermal and pH stability were studied for all six phages. Limited sample sequencing was performed to define the phylogeny of the K. pneumoniae- and K. oxytoca-specific bacteriophages vB_Klp_5 and vB_Klox_2, respectively. Both of the latter phages had large burst sizes, efficient rates of adsorption and were stable under different adverse conditions. Phages reported in this study are double-stranded DNA bacterial viruses belonging to the families Podoviridae and Siphoviridae. One or more of the six phages was capable of efficiently lysing ~63 % of Klebsiella strains comprising a collection of 123 clinical isolates from Georgia and the United Kingdom. These phages exhibit a number of properties indicative of potential utility in phage therapy cocktails.
KeywordsKlebsiella Brain Heart Infusion Broth Phage Therapy Lytic Bacteriophage Phage Lysate
We thank Seydina M. Diene, PhD, Pathologie Humaine/Maladies infectieuses, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie, Université de la Méditerranée Aix Marseille II, for help with bioinformatics analyses. This study was supported by a GNSF (Georgian National Science Foundation) grant N 04/01 to NK. Work in KR’s laboratory was partly funded by a Medisearch grant.
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