The potential of bacteriophage as an alternative biocontrol agent has recently been revisited due to the widespread occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. We isolated a virulent bacteriophage, SPC35, that can infect both Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Escherichia coli. Morphological analysis by transmission electron microscopy and analysis of its 118,351-bp genome revealed that SPC35 is a T5 group phage belonging to the family Siphoviridae. BtuB, the outer membrane protein for vitamin B12 uptake, was found to be a host receptor for SPC35. Interestingly, resistant mutants of both E. coli and S. Typhimurium developed faster than our expectation when the cultures were infected with SPC35. Investigation of the btuB gene revealed that it was disrupted by the IS2 insertion sequence element in most of the resistant E. coli isolates. In contrast, we could not detect any btuB gene mutations in the resistant S. Typhimurium isolates; these isolates easily regained sensitivity to SPC35 in its absence, suggesting phase-variable phage resistance/sensitivity. These results indicate that a cocktail of phages that target different receptors on the pathogen should be more effective for successful biocontrol.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology