Identification of bacteriophage types and their carriage in Staphylococcus aureus
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Conserved genomic sequences distinctive of Staphylococcus aureus phage types 3A, 11, 77, 187 and Twort, representative of phage serogroups A, B, F, L and D, were identified and characterized. PCR primers designed for the above sequences were used for development of a multiplex PCR assay which enabled us not only to classify all phages of the International Typing Set plus 16 additional phages, but also to detect prophages in S. aureus genomes. One to four different prophages were unambiguously detected in experimentally lysogenized S. aureus strains, and substantial variation in prophage content was found in 176 S. aureus clinical strains of different provenance. In addition, by using a comparative genomics approach, all the prophages in the S. aureus genomes sequenced to date could be revealed and classified.
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