Current Microbiology

, Volume 75, Issue 5, pp 611–619 | Cite as

Bacteriophages as Biological Control Agents of Enteric Bacteria Contaminating Edible Oysters

  • Tuan Son Le
  • Paul C. Southgate
  • Wayne O’Connor
  • Sue Poole
  • D. Ipek KurtbӧkeEmail author


Bacterial contamination on seafood resulting from unhygienic food-handling practices causes foodborne diseases and significant revenue losses. Moreover, control measures are complicated by a high prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Alternative measures such as the phage therapy, therefore, is considered as an environmental and consumer-friendly biological control strategy for controlling such bacterial contamination. In this study, we determined the effectiveness of a bacteriophage cocktail in controlling E. coli strains [JM 109, ATCC 13706 and the, extended spectrum beta-lactamase resistant strain (ATCC BAA 196)] and S. enterica subsp. enterica (ATCC 13311) as single and combined contaminants of the edible oysters. Five different E. coli-specific phages (belonging to the Siphoviridae family) and a Salmonella phage (belonging to the Tectiviridae family) were successfully isolated from sewage water samples taken from a local sewage treatment plan in the Sunshine Coast region of Australia. Phage treatments applied to the pathogens when they were presented on the oysters as either single or combined hosts, resulted in significant decrease of the number of these bacteria on edible oysters. Results obtained indicated that bacteriophages could have beneficial applications in oyster-processing plants in controlling pathogenic bacterial infestations. This study thus contributes towards ongoing international efforts into the effective use of bacteriophages for biological control purposes.



Tuan Son Le gratefully acknowledge MOET-VIED/USC PhD scholarship. Authors thank Mr. Daniel Shelley (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia) for the technical support provided with the TEM micrographs. Authors thank Dr. Nguyen Hong Nguyen (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia) for advice on statistical analysis.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tuan Son Le
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul C. Southgate
    • 3
  • Wayne O’Connor
    • 4
  • Sue Poole
    • 5
  • D. Ipek Kurtbӧke
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.GeneCology Research Centre and the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and EngineeringUniversity of the Sunshine CoastMaroochydore DCAustralia
  2. 2.Research Institute for Marine FisheriesHai PhongVietnam
  3. 3.Australian Centre for Pacific Islands Research and the Faculty of Science, Health, Education and EngineeringUniversity of the Sunshine CoastMaroochydoreAustralia
  4. 4.NSW FisheriesPort Stephens Fisheries InstituteTaylors BeachAustralia
  5. 5.Innovative Food TechnologiesDepartment of Agriculture & FisheriesBrisbaneAustralia

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