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Isolation and characterization of a novel Escherichia coli phage Kayfunavirus ZH4


Escherichia coli, a gram-negative bacterium, was generally considered conditional pathogenic bacteria and the proportion of bacteria resistant to commonly used specified antibacterial drugs exceeded 50%. Phage therapeutic application has been revitalized since antibiotic resistance in bacteria was increasing. Compared with antibiotics, phage is the virus specific to bacterial hosts. However, further understanding of phage–host interactions is required. In this study, a novel phage specific to a E. coli strain, named as phage Kayfunavirus ZH4, was isolated and characterized. Transmission electron microscopy showed that phage ZH4 belongs to the family Autographiviridae. The whole-genome analysis showed that the length of phage ZH4 genome was 39,496 bp with 49 coding domain sequence (CDS) and no tRNA was detected. Comparative genome and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that phage ZH4 was highly similar to phages belonging to the genus Kayfunavirus. Moreover, the highest average nucleotide identity (ANI) values of phage ZH4 with all the known phages was 0.86, suggesting that ZH4 was a relatively novel phage. Temperature and pH stability tests showed that phage ZH4 was stable from 4° to 50 °C and pH range from 3 to 11. Host range of phage ZH4 showed that there were only 2 out of 17 strains lysed by phage ZH4. Taken together, phage ZH4 was considered as a novel phage with the potential for applications in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

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This study was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31502079 and 31660700); National Natural Science Foundation of Guangxi (Grant No. 2017GXNSFAA198071); Science and Technology Development Program of Nanning (Grant No. 20180526); Science and Technology Plan Project of Chongzuo (Grant No. FA2019006); the Science and Technology Development Program of Wuming District in Nanning (Grant No. 20190101).

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Authors and Affiliations



LL: Methodology, investigation, validation, formal analysis, writing—original draft. DM: formal analysis, software, data curation, writing—original draft, visualization. YZ: writing—review & editing, funding acquisition. LW: formal analysis, writing—review & editing. XW: conceptualization, supervision, project administration, funding acquisition, writing—review & editing.

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Correspondence to Xiaoye Wang.

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Li, L., Wu, Y., Ma, D. et al. Isolation and characterization of a novel Escherichia coli phage Kayfunavirus ZH4. Virus Genes (2022).

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  • Escherichia coli phage
  • Whole-genomic analysis
  • Phage characterization