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Conserved termini and adjacent variable region of Twortlikevirus Staphylococcus phages


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an increasing cause of serious infection, both in the community and hospital settings. Despite sophisticated strategies and efforts, the antibiotic options for treating MRSA infection are narrowing because of the limited number of newly developed antimicrobials. Here, four newly-isolated MRSA-virulent phages, IME-SA1, IMESA2, IME-SA118 and IME-SA119, were sequenced and analyzed. Their genome termini were identified using our previously proposed "termini analysis theory". We provide evidence that remarkable conserved terminus sequences are found in IME-SA1/2/118/119, and, moreover, are widespread throughout Twortlikevirus Staphylococcus phage G1 and K species. Results also suggested that each phage of the two species has conserved 5′ terminus while the 3′ terminus is variable. More importantly, a variable region with a specific pattern was found to be present near the conserved terminus of Twortlikevirus S. phage G1 species. The clone with the longest variable region had variable terminus lengths in successive generations, while the clones with the shortest variable region and with the average length variable region maintained the same terminal length as themselves during successive generations. IME-SA1 bacterial infection experiments showed that the variation is not derived from adaptation of the phage to different host strains. This is the first study of the conserved terminus and variable region of Twortlikevirus S. phages.

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Correspondence to Yigang Tong.

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ORCID: 0000-0002-8503-8045

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Zhang, X., Kang, H., Li, Y. et al. Conserved termini and adjacent variable region of Twortlikevirus Staphylococcus phages. Virol. Sin. 30, 433–440 (2015).

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  • Twortlikevirus Staphylococcus phage
  • conserved termini
  • variable region