The lytic efficacy of bacteriophages against Staphylococcus aureus
isolates from bovine milk was investigated in vitro, regarding possible applications in the therapy of udder inflammation caused by bacterial infections (mastitis). The host range of sequenced, lytic bacteriophages was determined against a collection of 92 Staphylococcus
isolates. The isolates originated from quarter foremilk samples of clinical and subclinical mastitis cases. A spot test and a subsequent plaque assay were used to determine the phage host range. According to their host range, propagation and storage properties, three phages, STA1.ST29, EB1.ST11, and EB1.ST27, were selected for preparing a bacteriophage mixture (1:1:1), which was examined for its lytic activity against S. aureus
in pasteurized and raw milk. It was found that almost two thirds of the isolates could be lysed by at least one of the tested phages. The bacteriophage mixture was able to reduce the S. aureus
germ density in pasteurized milk and its reduction ability was maintained in raw milk, with only a moderate decrease compared to the results in pasteurized milk. The significant reduction ability of the phage mixture in raw milk promotes further in vivo investigation.
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