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Open AccessArticle

Isolation and Characterization of AbTJ, an Acinetobacter baumannii Phage, and Functional Identification of Its Receptor-Binding Modules

by Jingzhi Xu 1,2, Xiaobo Li 1,2,3, Guangbo Kang 1,2, Liang Bai 1,2, Ping Wang 3,* and He Huang 1,2,*
1
Department of Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering & Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300350, China
2
Key Laboratory of Systems Bioengineering (Ministry of Education), Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
3
Tianjin Modern Innovative TCM Technology Co. Ltd., Tianjin 300392, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(2), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12020205
Received: 28 December 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Viruses)
A. baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen and a major cause of various community-acquired infections. Strains of this species can be resistant to multiple antimicrobial agents, leaving limited therapeutic options, also lacking in methods for accurate and prompt diagnosis. In this context, AbTJ, a novel phage that infects A. baumannii MDR-TJ, was isolated and characterized, together with its two tail fiber proteins. Morphological analysis revealed that it belongs to Podoviridae family. Its host range, growth characteristics, stability under various conditions, and genomic sequence, were systematically investigated. Bioinformatic analysis showed that AbTJ consists of a circular, double-stranded 42670-bp DNA molecule which contains 62 putative open reading frames (ORFs). Genome comparison revealed that the phage AbTJ is related to the Acinetobacter phage Ab105-1phi (No. KT588074). Tail fiber protein (TFPs) gp52 and gp53 were then identified and confirmed as species-specific proteins. By using a combination of bioluminescent methods and magnetic beads, these TFPs exhibit excellent specificity to detect A. baumannii. The findings of this study can be used to help control opportunistic infections and to provide pathogen-binding modules for further construction of engineered bacteria of diagnosis and treatment.
Keywords: A. baumannii; phage AbTJ; bioinformatics analysis; tail fiber protein (TFP); fluorescent and bioluminescent methods A. baumannii; phage AbTJ; bioinformatics analysis; tail fiber protein (TFP); fluorescent and bioluminescent methods
MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, J.; Li, X.; Kang, G.; Bai, L.; Wang, P.; Huang, H. Isolation and Characterization of AbTJ, an Acinetobacter baumannii Phage, and Functional Identification of Its Receptor-Binding Modules. Viruses 2020, 12, 205.

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