Bacteriophages are considered the most abundant biological entities on earth, and they are able to modulate the populations of their bacterial hosts. Although the potential of bacteriophages has been accepted as an alternative strategy to combat multidrug-resistant pathogenic bacteria, there still exists a considerable knowledge gap regarding their genetic diversity, which hinders their use as antimicrobial agents. In this study, we undertook a genomic and phylogenetic characterization of the phage Ab11510-phi, which was isolated from a multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strain (Ab11510). We found that Ab11510-phi has a narrow host range and belongs to a small group of transposable phages of the genus Vieuvirus that have only been reported to infect Acinetobacter bacteria. Finally, we showed that Ab11510-phi (as well as other vieuvirus phages) has a high level of mosaicism. On a broader level, we demonstrate that comparative genomics and phylogenetic analysis are necessary tools for the proper characterization of phage diversity.
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This work was partially supported by “Programa de Apoyo a Proyectos de Investigación e Inovación Tecnológica PAPIIT’’ (grant no. IN206019) and CONACyT Ciencia Básica 2016 (grant no. 284276). G.L.L. received a postdoctoral fellowship (2019-000012-01EXTV-00488) from CONACyT. We are thankful to Ismael Hernández-González for discussions on the assembly of the phage genome sequence. We also thank Victor González for his helpful comments, Adriana Carolina Hernández-Morales for her recommendations on the phage isolation protocol, and Alfredo Hernández-Alvarez, Víctor Del Moral-Chávez, and Juan Manuel Hurtado-Ramírez for technical support. GLL thanks Juan Sebastian Andrade Martinez, Laura Carolina Camelo Valera, Luis Alberto Chica Cárdenas, Laura Milena Forero Junco, Ruth Hernandez Reyes, Leonardo Moreno Gallego, Guillermo Rangel, and Laura Avellaneda Franco, members of the viromics group within the Max Planck Tandem Group in Computational Biology, for the general discussion of the results presented in this manuscript. We thank the reviewers for their helpful input, as our article was significantly improved by their comments. We also thank reviewer 1 for his/her observation about the circular permutation of the genome of Ab11510-phi.
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López-Leal, G., Reyes-Muñoz, A., Santamaria, R.I. et al. A novel vieuvirus from multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Arch Virol 166, 1401–1408 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-021-05010-4