Archives of Virology

, Volume 158, Issue 11, pp 2341–2350 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of phages with lytic activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains belonging to clonal complex 398

  • Britta Kraushaar
  • Mai Dinh Thanh
  • Jens A. Hammerl
  • Jochen Reetz
  • Alexandra Fetsch
  • Stefan HertwigEmail author
Original Article


Some years ago, MRSA clonal complex (CC) 398 emerged, which spread extensively in livestock animals. People in contact with food production animals are at high risk of colonization. A reduction of MRSA CC398 in livestock might be achieved by application of virulent phages. However, there have not yet been any reports published on phages lysing MRSA CC398 strains. In this study, three virulent phages (PSa1, PSa2 and PSa3) with lytic activity against MRSA CC398 strains were isolated from German pig farms. Morphologically, the phages are members of the family Podoviridae, and they exhibited an identical host range. They lysed 52 (60 %) out of 86 tested MRSA CC398 strains representing 18 different spa types. While the PSa1 and PSa3 genomes have a similar size of approximately 17.5 kb, the PSa2 genome is somewhat larger (ca. 18.5 kb). Southern hybridization revealed strong DNA homologies between the phages, which was confirmed by sequence analysis of cloned restriction fragments and PCR products. Moreover, the whole PSa3 genomic sequence (17,602 bp) showed a close relationship to 44AHJD-like phages, which are not known to contain virulence-associated genes. To assess whether these phages might be candidates for applications, in vitro experiments were carried out in which the number of MRSA CC398 cells could be reduced by up to four log10 units. The phages were stable at a wide range of temperatures and pH values.


Lytic Activity Burst Size Clonal Complex Phage Propagation CC398 Strain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 58 kb)
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Supplementary material 4 (DOC 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Britta Kraushaar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mai Dinh Thanh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jens A. Hammerl
    • 1
  • Jochen Reetz
    • 1
  • Alexandra Fetsch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefan Hertwig
    • 3
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department for Biological SafetyFederal Institute for Risk AssessmentBerlinGermany
  2. 2.National Reference Laboratory for Coagulase-Positive Staphylococci including Staphylococcus aureusBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, Diagnostik und Genetik, ErregercharakterisierungBerlinGermany

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