Isolation of Escherichia coli bacteriophages from the stool of pediatric diarrhea patients in Bangladesh.
ABSTRACT: A 3-week coliphage survey was conducted in stool samples from 140 Bangladeshi children hospitalized with severe diarrhea. On the Escherichia coli indicator strain K803, all but one phage isolate had 170-kb genomes and the morphology of T4 phage. In spot tests, the individual T4-like phages infected up to 27 out of 40 diarrhea-associated E. coli, representing 22 O serotypes and various virulence factors; only five of them were not infected by any of these new phages. A combination of diagnostic PCR based on g32 (DNA binding) and g23 (major capsid protein) and Southern hybridization revealed that half were T-even phages sensu strictu, while the other half were pseudo-T-even or even more distantly related T4-like phages that failed to cross-hybridize with T4 or between each other. Nineteen percent of the acute stool samples yielded T4-like phages, and the prevalence was lower in convalescent stool samples. T4-like phages were also isolated from environmental and sewage water, but with low frequency and low titers. On the enteropathogenic E. coli strain O127:K63, 14% of the patients yielded phage, all of which were members of the phage family Siphoviridae with 50-kb genomes, showing the morphology of Jersey- and beta-4 like phages and narrow lytic patterns on E. coli O serotypes. Three siphovirus types could be differentiated by lack of cross-hybridization. Only a few stool samples were positive on both indicator strains. Phages with closely related restriction patterns and, in the case of T4-like phages, identical g23 gene sequences were isolated from different patients, suggesting epidemiological links between the patients.
Project description:Numerous T4-like Escherichia coli phages were isolated from human stool and environmental wastewater samples in Bangladesh and Switzerland. The sequences of the major head gene (g23) revealed that these coliphages could be placed into four subgroups, represented by the phages T4, RB69, RB49, and JS98. Thus, JS98 defines a new major subgroup of E. coli T4-like phages. We conducted an analysis of the 169-kb JS98 genome sequence. Overall, 198 of the 266 JS98 open reading frames (ORFs) shared amino acid sequence identity with the reference T4 phage, 41 shared identity with other T4-like phages, and 27 ORFs lacked any database matches. Genes on the plus strand encoded virion proteins, which showed moderate to high sequence identity with T4 proteins. The right genome half of JS98 showed a higher degree of sequence conservation with T4 and RB69, even for the nonstructural genes, than did the left genome half, containing exclusively nonstructural genes. Most of the JS98-specific genes were found in the left genome half. Two came as a hypervariability cluster, but most represented isolated genes, suggesting that they were acquired separately in multiple acquisition events. No evidence for DNA exchange between JS98 phage and the E. coli host genome or coliphages other than T4 was observed. No undesired genes which could compromise its medical use were detected in the JS98 genome sequence.
Project description:Tailed bacteriophages are the most abundant biological entities in marine environments. However, most of these marine phages are uncharacterized because few of their hosts have been cultivated. To learn more about such phages, we designed a set of degenerate PCR primers for phage T4 g23, which encodes the major capsid protein in all of the T4-type phages, an important family of the tailed phage. These primers were used to amplify g23-related sequences from diverse marine environments (fjords and bays of British Columbia, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the western Arctic Ocean) revealing a remarkable level of molecular diversity, which in some cases was correlated with morphological variation of the virions. Phylogenetic analysis showed that although some of these sequences were closely related to well studied subgroups of the T4-type phage, such as the T-evens, the majority of them belong to five previously uncharacterized subgroups. These data indicate that the host range of T4-type phages is much broader than previously imagined and that the laboratory isolate T4 belongs to a phage family that is extraordinarily widespread and diverse in the biosphere.
Project description:Sequence analysis of a 10-kb region of the genome of the marine cyanomyovirus S-PM2 reveals a homology to coliphage T4 that extends as a contiguous block from gene (g)18 to g23. The order of the S-PM2 genes in this region is similar to that of T4, but there are insertions and deletions of small ORFs of unknown function. In T4, g18 codes for the tail sheath, g19, the tail tube, g20, the head portal protein, g21, the prohead core protein, g22, a scaffolding protein, and g23, the major capsid protein. Thus, the entire module that determines the structural components of the phage head and contractile tail is conserved between T4 and this cyanophage. The significant differences in the morphology of these phages must reflect the considerable divergence of the amino acid sequence of their homologous virion proteins, which uniformly exceeds 50%. We suggest that their enormous diversity in the sea could be a result of genetic shuffling between disparate phages mediated by such commonly shared modules. These conserved sequences could facilitate genetic exchange by providing partially homologous substrates for recombination between otherwise divergent phage genomes. Such a mechanism would thus expand the pool of phage genes accessible by recombination to all those phages that share common modules.
Project description:Antibiotic resistance is rising in important bacterial pathogens. Phage therapy (PT), the use of bacterial viruses infecting the pathogen in a species-specific way, is a potential alternative.T4-like coliphages or a commercial Russian coliphage product or placebo was orally given over 4 days to Bangladeshi children hospitalized with acute bacterial diarrhea. Safety of oral phage was assessed clinically and by functional tests; coliphage and Escherichia coli titers and enteropathogens were determined in stool and quantitative diarrhea parameters (stool output, stool frequency) were measured. Stool microbiota was studied by 16S rRNA gene sequencing; the genomes of four fecal Streptococcus isolates were sequenced.No adverse events attributable to oral phage application were observed (primary safety outcome). Fecal coliphage was increased in treated over control children, but the titers did not show substantial intestinal phage replication (secondary microbiology outcome). 60% of the children suffered from a microbiologically proven E. coli diarrhea; the most frequent diagnosis was ETEC infections. Bacterial co-pathogens were also detected. Half of the patients contained phage-susceptible E. coli colonies in the stool. E. coli represented less than 5% of fecal bacteria. Stool ETEC titers showed only a short-lived peak and were otherwise close to the replication threshold determined for T4 phage in vitro. An interim analysis after the enrollment of 120 patients showed no amelioration in quantitative diarrhea parameter by PT over standard care (tertiary clinical outcome). Stool microbiota was characterized by an overgrowth with Streptococcus belonging to the Streptococcus gallolyticus and Streptococcus salivarius species groups, their abundance correlated with quantitative diarrhea outcome, but genome sequencing did not identify virulence genes.Oral coliphages showed a safe gut transit in children, but failed to achieve intestinal amplification and to improve diarrhea outcome, possibly due to insufficient phage coverage and too low E. coli pathogen titers requiring higher oral phage doses. More knowledge is needed on in vivo phage-bacterium interaction and the role of E. coli in childhood diarrhea for successful PT.The study was supported by a grant from Nestlé Nutrition and Nestlé Health Science. The trial was registered with Identifier NCT00937274 at ClinicalTrials.gov.
Project description:Two coliphages, AR1 and LG1, were characterized based on their morphological, host range, and genetic properties. Transmission electron microscopy showed that both phages belonged to the Myoviridae; phage particles of LG1 were smaller than those of AR1 and had an isometric head 68 nm in diameter and a complex contractile tail 111 nm in length. Transmission electron micrographs of AR1 showed phage particles consisting of an elongated isometric head of 103 by 74 nm and a complex contractile tail 116 nm in length. Both phages were extensively tested on many strains of Escherichia coli and other enterobacteria. The results showed that both phages could infect many serotypes of E. coli. Among the enterobacteria, Proteus mirabilis, Shigella dysenteriae, and two Salmonella strains were lysed by the phages. The genetic material of AR1 and LG1 was characterized. Phage LG1 had a genome size of 49.5 kb compared to 150 kb for AR1. Restriction endonuclease analysis showed that several restriction enzymes could degrade DNA from both phages. The morphological, genome size, and restriction endonuclease similarities between AR1 and phage T4 were striking. Southern hybridizations showed that AR1 and T4 are genetically related. The wide host ranges of phages AR1 and LG1 suggest that they may be useful as biocontrol, therapeutic, or diagnostic agents to control and detect the prevalence of E. coli in animals and food.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli O157 can cause severe bloody diarrhea and haemolytic uraemic syndrome. Phage typing of E. coli O157 facilitates public health surveillance and outbreak investigations, certain phage types are more likely to occupy specific niches and are associated with specific age groups and disease severity. The aim of this study was to analyse the genome sequences of 16 (fourteen T4 and two T7) E. coli O157 typing phages and to determine the genes responsible for the subtle differences in phage type profiles. RESULTS:The typing phages were sequenced using paired-end Illumina sequencing at The Genome Analysis Centre and the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency and bioinformatics programs including Velvet, Brig and Easyfig were used to analyse them. A two-way Euclidian cluster analysis highlighted the associations between groups of phage types and typing phages. The analysis showed that the T7 typing phages (9 and 10) differed by only three genes and that the T4 typing phages formed three distinct groups of similar genomic sequences: Group 1 (1, 8, 11, 12 and 15, 16), Group 2 (3, 6, 7 and 13) and Group 3 (2, 4, 5 and 14). The E. coli O157 phage typing scheme exhibited a significantly modular network linked to the genetic similarity of each group showing that these groups are specialised to infect a subset of phage types. CONCLUSION:Sequencing the typing phage has enabled us to identify the variable genes within each group and to determine how this corresponds to changes in phage type.
Project description:Viruses are an abundant and active component of marine sediments and play a significant role in microbial ecology and biogeochemical cycling at local and global scales. To obtain a better understanding of the ecological characteristics of the viriobenthos, the abundance and morphology of viruses and the diversity and community structure of T4-type phages were systematically investigated in the surface sediments of the subtropical Pearl River Estuary (PRE). Viral abundances ranged from 4.49 × 108 to 11.7 × 108 viruses/g and prokaryotic abundances ranged from 2.63 × 108 to 9.55 × 108 cells/g, and both decreased from freshwater to saltwater. Diverse viral morphotypes, including tailed, spherical, filamentous, and rod-shaped viruses, were observed using transmission electron microscopy. Analysis of the major capsid gene (g23) indicated that the sediment T4-type phages were highly diverse and, similar to the trend in viral abundances, their diversity decreased as the salinity increased. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that most of the g23 operational taxonomic units were affiliated with marine, paddy soil, and lake groups. The T4-type phage communities in freshwater and saltwater sediments showed obvious differences, which were related to changes in the Pearl River discharge. The results of this study demonstrated both allochthonous and autochthonous sources of the viral community in the PRE sediments and the movement of certain T4-type viral groups between the freshwater and saline water biomes.
Project description:Rapidly growing antibiotic resistance among gastrointestinal pathogens, and the ability of antibiotics to induce the virulence of these pathogens makes it increasingly difficult to rely on antibiotics to treat gastrointestinal infections. The probiotic E. coli strain Nissle 1917 (EcN) is the active component of the pharmaceutical preparation Mutaflor® and has been successfully used in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Gut bacteriophages are dominant players in maintaining the microbial homeostasis in the gut, however, their interaction with incoming probiotic bacteria remains to be at conception. The presence of bacteriophages in the gut makes it inevitable for any probiotic bacteria to be phage resistant, in order to survive and successfully colonize the gut. This study addresses the phage resistance of EcN, specifically against lytic T4 phage infection. From various experiments we could show that i) EcN is resistant towards T4 phage infection, ii) EcN’s K5 polysaccharide capsule plays a crucial role in T4 phage resistance and iii) EcN’s lipopolysaccharide (LPS) inactivates T4 phages and notably, treatment with the antibiotic polymyxin B which neutralizes the LPS destroyed the phage inactivation ability of isolated LPS from EcN. Our results further indicate that N-acetylglucosamine at the distal end of O6 antigen in EcN’s LPS could be the interacting partner with T4 phages. From our findings, we have reported for the first time, the role of EcN’s K5 capsule and LPS in its defense against T4 phages. In addition, by inactivating the T4 phages, EcN also protects E. coli K-12 strains from phage infection in tri-culture experiments. The combination of the identified properties is not found in other tested commensal E. coli strains. Furthermore, our research highlights phage resistance as an additional safety feature of EcN, a clinically successful probiotic E. coli strain. Overall design: EcN culture (1e8 CFUs/ml) and 100 µl of a phage extract (~1e8 pfus/ml) were added to final volume of 1 ml LB medium in a 24 well plate. The plates were incubated in a static manner for 2 h of time at 37 °C.
Project description:Diarrhea due to infection of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is of great concern in several low and middle-income countries. ETEC infection is considered to be the most common cause of diarrhea in Bangladesh and is mainly spread through contaminated water and food. ETEC pathogenesis is mediated by the expression of enterotoxins and colonization factors (CFs) that target the intestinal mucosa. ETEC can survive for extended time periods in water, where they are likely to be attacked by bacteriophages. Antibiotic resistance is common amongst enteric pathogens and therefore is the use of bacteriophages (phage) as a therapeutic tool an interesting approach. This study was designed to identify novel phages that specifically target ETEC virulence factors. In total, 48 phages and 195 ETEC isolates were collected from water sources and stool samples. Amongst the identified ETEC specific phages, an enterobacteria phage T7, designated as IMM-002, showed a significant specificity towards colonization factor CS3-expressing ETEC isolates. Antibody-blocking and phage-neutralization assays revealed that CS3 is used as a host receptor for the IMM-002 phage. The bacterial CRISPR-Cas (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats-CRISPR-associated) defence mechanism can invoke immunity against phages. Genomic analyses coupled with plaque assay experiments indicate that the ETEC CRISPR-Cas system is involved in the resistance against the CS3-specific phage (IMM-002) and the previously identified CS7-specific phage (IMM-001). As environmental water serves as a reservoir for ETEC, it is important to search for new antimicrobial agents such as phages in environmental water as well as the human gut. A better understanding of how the interplay between ETEC-specific phages and ETEC isolates affects the ETEC diversity, both in environmental ecosystems and within the host, is important for the development of new treatments for ETEC infections.
Project description:Viral production estimates show that virioplankton communities turn over rapidly in aquatic ecosystems. Thus, it is likely that the genetic identity of viral populations comprising the virioplankton also change over temporal and spatial scales, reflecting shifts in viral-host interactions. However, there are few approaches that can provide data on the genotypic identity of viral populations at low cost and with the sample throughput necessary to assess dynamic changes in the virioplankton. This study examined two of these approaches-T4-like major capsid protein (g23) gene polymorphism and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-PCR (RAPD-PCR) fingerprinting-to ask how well each technique could track differences in virioplankton populations over time and geographic location. Seasonal changes in overall virioplankton composition were apparent from pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. T4-like phages containing similar g23 proteins were found within both small- and large-genome populations, including populations from different geographic locations and times. The surprising occurrence of T4-like g23 within small genomic groups (23 to 64 kb) indicated that the genome size range of T4-like phages may be broader than previously believed. In contrast, RAPD-PCR fingerprinting detected high genotypic similarity within PFGE bands from the same location, time, and genome size class without the requirement for DNA sequencing. Unlike g23 polymorphism, RAPD-PCR fingerprints showed a greater temporal than geographic variation. Thus, while polymorphism in a viral signature gene, such as g23, can be a powerful tool for inferring evolutionary relationships, the degree to which this approach can capture fine-scale variability within virioplankton populations is less clear.