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Viruses 2017, 9(9), 258; doi:10.3390/v9090258

Characterization of vB_SauM-fRuSau02, a Twort-Like Bacteriophage Isolated from a Therapeutic Phage Cocktail

1
Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Medicum, Research Programs Unit, Immunobiology Research Program, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00290, Finland
2
Division of Clinical Microbiology, HUSLAB, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki 00290, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Harald Brüssow and Eric Freed
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hurdles for Phage Therapy (PT) to Become a Reality)
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Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal and pathogenic bacterium that causes infections in humans and animals. It is a major cause of nosocomial infections worldwide. Due to increasing prevalence of multidrug resistance, alternative methods to eradicate the pathogen are necessary. In this respect, polyvalent staphylococcal myoviruses have been demonstrated to be excellent candidates for phage therapy. Here we present the characterization of the bacteriophage vB_SauM-fRuSau02 (fRuSau02) that was isolated from a commercial Staphylococcus bacteriophage cocktail produced by Microgen (Moscow, Russia). The genomic analysis revealed that fRuSau02 is very closely related to the phage MSA6, and possesses a large genome (148,464 bp), with typical modular organization and a low G+C (30.22%) content. It can therefore be classified as a new virus among the genus Twortlikevirus. The genome contains 236 predicted genes, 4 of which were interrupted by insertion sequences. Altogether, 78 different structural and virion-associated proteins were identified from purified phage particles by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The host range of fRuSau02 was tested with 135 strains, including 51 and 54 Staphylococcus aureus isolates from humans and pigs, respectively, and 30 coagulase-negative Staphylococcus strains of human origin. All clinical S. aureus strains were at least moderately sensitive to the phage, while only 39% of the pig strains were infected. Also, some strains of Staphylococcus intermedius, Staphylococcus lugdunensis, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus haemolyticus, Staphylococcus saprophyticus and Staphylococcus pseudointer were sensitive. We conclude that fRuSau02, a phage therapy agent in Russia, can serve as an alternative to antibiotic therapy against S. aureus. View Full-Text
Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; bacteriophage; phage therapy; vB_SauM-fRuSau02; Twortlikevirus Staphylococcus aureus; bacteriophage; phage therapy; vB_SauM-fRuSau02; Twortlikevirus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leskinen, K.; Tuomala, H.; Wicklund, A.; Horsma-Heikkinen, J.; Kuusela, P.; Skurnik, M.; Kiljunen, S. Characterization of vB_SauM-fRuSau02, a Twort-Like Bacteriophage Isolated from a Therapeutic Phage Cocktail. Viruses 2017, 9, 258.

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