Means to Facilitate the Overcoming of Gastric Juice Barrier by a Therapeutic Staphylococcal Bacteriophage A5/80.
ABSTRACT: In this article we compare the efficacy of different pharmacological agents (ranitidine, and omeprazole) to support phage transit from stomach to distal portions of the gastrointestinal tract in rats. We show that a temporal modification of environment in the animal stomach may protect Twort-like therapeutic antistaphylococcal phage A5/80 (from bacteriophage collection of the Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy PAS in Wroclaw, Poland) from the inactivation by gastric juice effectively enough to enable a significant fraction of orally administered A5/80 to pass to the intestine. Interestingly, we found that yogurt may be a relatively strong in enhancing phage transit. Given the immunomodulating activities of phages our data may suggest that phages and yogurt can act synergistically in mediating their probiotic activities and enhancing the effectiveness of oral phage therapy. We also demonstrate that orally applied phages of similar size, morphology, and sensitivity to acidic environment may differ in their translocation into the bloodstream. This was evident in mice in which a therapeutic staphylococcal phage A5/80 reached the blood upon oral administration combined with antacid agent whilst T4 phage was not detected even when applied in 103 times higher dose. Our findings also suggest that phage penetration from digestive tract to the blood may be species-specific.
Project description:Thanks to their wide host range and virulence, staphylococcal bacteriophages (phages) belonging to the genus Twortlikevirus (staphylococcal Twort-like phages) are regarded as ideal candidates for clinical application for Staphylococcus aureus infections due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria of this species. To increase the usability of these phages, it is necessary to understand the mechanism underlying host recognition, especially the receptor-binding proteins (RBPs) that determine host range. In this study, we found that the staphylococcal Twort-like phage ?SA012 possesses at least two RBPs. Genomic analysis of five mutant phages of ?SA012 revealed point mutations in orf103, in a region unique to staphylococcal Twort-like phages. Phages harboring mutated ORF103 could not infect S. aureus strains in which wall teichoic acids (WTAs) are glycosylated with ?-N-acetylglucosamine (?-GlcNAc). A polyclonal antibody against ORF103 also inhibited infection by ?SA012 in the presence of ?-GlcNAc, suggesting that ORF103 binds to ?-GlcNAc. In contrast, a polyclonal antibody against ORF105, a short tail fiber component previously shown to be an RBP, inhibited phage infection irrespective of the presence of ?-GlcNAc. Immunoelectron microscopy indicated that ORF103 is a tail fiber component localized at the bottom of the baseplate. From these results, we conclude that ORF103 binds ?-GlcNAc in WTAs, whereas ORF105, the primary RBP, is likely to bind the WTA backbone. These findings provide insight into the infection mechanism of staphylococcal Twort-like phages.Staphylococcus phages belonging to the genus Twortlikevirus (called staphylococcal Twort-like phages) are considered promising agents for control of Staphylococcus aureus due to their wide host range and highly lytic capabilities. Although staphylococcal Twort-like phages have been studied widely for therapeutic purposes, the host recognition process of staphylococcal Twort-like phages remains unclear. This work provides new findings about the mechanisms of host recognition of the staphylococcal Twort-like phage ?SA012. The details of the host recognition mechanism of ?SA012 will allow us to analyze the mechanisms of infection and expand the utility of staphylococcal Twort-like phages for the control of S. aureus.
Project description:Bacteriophages are the most abundant life forms in the biosphere. They play important roles in bacterial ecology, evolution, adaptation to new environments, and pathogenesis of human bacterial infections. Here, we report the complete genomic sequences, and predicted proteins of 27 bacteriophages of the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Comparative nucleotide and protein sequence analysis indicates that these phages are a remarkable source of untapped genetic diversity, encoding 2,170 predicted protein-encoding ORFs, of which 1,402 cannot be annotated for structure or function, and 522 are proteins with no similarity to other phage or bacterial sequences. Based on their genome size, organization of their gene map and comparative nucleotide and protein sequence analysis, the S. aureus phages can be organized into three groups. Comparison of their gene maps reveals extensive genome mosaicism, hinting to a large reservoir of unidentified S. aureus phage genes. Among the phages in the largest size class (178-214 kbp) that we characterized is phage Twort, the first discovered bacteriophage (responsible for the Twort-D'Herelle effect). These phage genomes offer an exciting opportunity to discern molecular mechanisms of phage evolution and diversity.
Project description:A novel giant phage of the family Myoviridae is described. Pseudomonas phage PA5oct was isolated from a sewage sample from an irrigated field near Wroclaw, Poland. The virion morphology indicates that PA5oct differs from known giant phages. The phage has a head of about 131 nm in diameter and a tail of 136 × 19 nm. Phage PA5oct contains a genome of approximately 375 kbp and differs in size from any tailed phages known. PA5oct was further characterized by determination of its latent period and burst size and its sensitivity to heating, chloroform, and pH.
Project description:Increasing antibiotic resistance in pathogenic microorganisms has led to renewed interest in bacteriophage therapy in both humans and animals. A "Trojan Horse" approach utilizing liposome encapsulated phages may facilitate access to phagocytic cells infected with intracellular pathogens residing therein, e.g., to treat infections caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Listeria, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus sp. Additionally, liposome encapsulated phages may adhere to and diffuse within mucosa harboring resistant bacteria which are challenges in treating respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Orally delivered phages tend to have short residence times in the gastrointestinal tract due to clinical symptoms such as diarrhea; this may be addressed through mucoadhesion of liposomes. In the present study we have evaluated the use of a microfluidic based technique for the encapsulation of bacteriophages in liposomes having mean sizes between 100 and 300 nm. Encapsulation of two model phages was undertaken, an Escherichia coli T3 podovirus (size ~65 nm) and a myovirus Staphylococcus aureus phage K (capsid head ~80 nm and phage tail length ~200 nm). The yield of encapsulated T3 phages was 109 PFU/ml and for phage K was much lower at 105 PFU/ml. The encapsulation yield for E. coli T3 phages was affected by aggregation of T3 phages. S. aureus phage K was found to interact with the liposome lipid bilayer resulting in large numbers of phages bound to the outside of the formed liposomes instead of being trapped inside them. We were able to inactivate the liposome bound S. aureus K phages whilst retaining the activity of the encapsulated phages in order to estimate the yield of microfluidic encapsulation of large tailed phages. Previous published studies on phage encapsulation in liposomes may have overestimated the yield of encapsulated tailed phages. This overestimation may affect the efficacy of phage dose delivered at the site of infection. Externally bound phages would be inactivated in the stomach acid resulting in low doses of phages delivered at the site of infection further downstream in the gastrointestinal tract.
Project description:This study sheds light on the biodistribution of orally administered, liposome-encapsulated bacteriophages, and their transcytosis through intestinal cell layers. Fluorochrome-labeled bacteriophages were used together with a non-invasive imaging methodology in the in vivo visualization of bacteriophages in the stomach and intestinal tract of mice. In those studies, phage encapsulation resulted in a significant increase of the labeled phages in the mouse stomach, even 6 h after their oral administration, and without a decrease in their concentration. By contrast, the visualization of encapsulated and non-encapsulated phages in the intestine were similar. Our in vivo observations were corroborated by culture methods and ex vivo experiments, which also showed that the percentage of encapsulated phages in the stomach remained constant (50%) compared to the amount of initially administered product. However, the use of conventional microbiological methods, which employ bile salts to break down liposomes, prevented the detection of encapsulated phages in the intestine. The ex vivo data showed a higher concentration of non-encapsulated than encapsulated phages in liver, kidney, and even muscle up to 6 h post-administration. Encapsulated bacteriophages were able to reach the liver, spleen, and muscle, with values of 38% ± 6.3%, 68% ± 8.6%, and 47% ± 7.4%, respectively, which persisted over the course of the experiment. Confocal laser scanning microscopy of an in vitro co-culture of human Caco-2/HT29/Raji-B cells revealed that Vybrant-Dil-stained liposomes containing labeled bacteriophages were preferably embedded in cell membranes. No transcytosis of encapsulated phages was detected in this in vitro model, whereas SYBR-gold-labeled non-encapsulated bacteriophages were able to cross the membrane. Our work demonstrates the prolonged persistence of liposome-encapsulated phages in the stomach and their adherence to the intestinal membrane. These observations could explain the greater long-term efficacy of phage therapy using liposome-encapsulated phages.
Project description:The prevalence of pathogenic bacteria acquiring multidrug antibiotic resistance is a global health threat to mankind. This has motivated a renewed interest in developing alternatives to conventional antibiotics including bacteriophages (viruses) as therapeutic agents. The bacterium Clostridium difficile causes colon infection and is particularly difficult to treat with existing antibiotics; phage therapy may offer a viable alternative. The punitive environment within the gastrointestinal tract can inactivate orally delivered phages. C. difficile specific bacteriophage, myovirus CDKM9 was encapsulated in a pH responsive polymer (Eudragit® S100 with and without alginate) using a flow focussing glass microcapillary device. Highly monodispersed core-shell microparticles containing phages trapped within the particle core were produced by in situ polymer curing using 4-aminobenzoic acid dissolved in the oil phase. The size of the generated microparticles could be precisely controlled in the range 80 ?m to 160 ?m through design of the microfluidic device geometry and by varying flow rates of the dispersed and continuous phase. In contrast to free 'naked' phages, those encapsulated within the microparticles could withstand a 3 h exposure to simulated gastric fluid at pH 2 and then underwent a subsequent pH triggered burst release at pH 7. The significance of our research is in demonstrating that C. difficile specific phage can be formulated and encapsulated in highly uniform pH responsive microparticles using a microfluidic system. The microparticles were shown to afford significant protection to the encapsulated phage upon prolonged exposure to an acid solution mimicking the human stomach environment. Phage encapsulation and subsequent release kinetics revealed that the microparticles prepared using Eudragit® S100 formulations possess pH responsive characteristics with phage release triggered in an intestinal pH range suitable for therapeutic purposes. The results reported here provide proof-of-concept data supporting the suitability of our approach for colon targeted delivery of phages for therapeutic purposes.
Project description:The treatment of enteric bacterial infections using oral bacteriophage therapy can be challenging since the harsh acidic stomach environment renders phages inactive during transit through the gastrointestinal tract. Solid oral dosage forms allowing site-specific gastrointestinal delivery of high doses of phages, e.g., using a pH or enzymatic trigger, would be a game changer for the nascent industry trying to demonstrate the efficacy of phages, including engineered phages for gut microbiome modulation in expensive clinical trials. Spray-drying is a scalable, low-cost process for producing pharmaceutical agents in dry powder form. Encapsulation of a model Salmonella-specific phage (Myoviridae phage Felix O1) was carried out using the process of spray-drying, employing a commercially available Eudragit S100® pH-responsive anionic copolymer composed of methyl methacrylate-co-methacrylic acid formulated with trehalose. Formulation and processing conditions were optimised to improve the survival of phages during spray-drying, and their subsequent protection upon exposure to simulated gastric acidity was demonstrated. Addition of trehalose to the formulation was shown to protect phages from elevated temperatures and desiccation encountered during spray-drying. Direct compression of spray-dried encapsulated phages into tablets was shown to significantly improve phage protection upon exposure to simulated gastric fluid. The results reported here demonstrate the significant potential of spray-dried pH-responsive formulations for oral delivery of bacteriophages targeting gastrointestinal applications.
Project description:The immergence and dissemination of multidrug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus in recent years have expedited the research on the discovery of novel anti-staphylococcal agents promptly. Bacteriophages have long been showing tremendous potentialities in curing the infections caused by various pathogenic bacteria including S. aureus. Thus far, only a few virulent bacteriophages, which do not carry any toxin-encoding gene but are capable of eradicating staphylococcal infections, were reported. Based on the codon usage analysis of sixteen S. aureus phages, previously three phages were suggested to be useful as the anti-staphylococcal agents. To search for additional S. aureus phages suitable for phage therapy, relative synonymous codon usage bias has been investigated in the protein-coding genes of forty new staphylococcal phages. All phages appeared to carry A and T ending codons. Several factors such as mutational pressure, translational selection and gene length seemed to be responsible for the codon usage variation in the phages. Codon usage indeed varied phage to phage. Of the phages, phages G1, Twort, 66 and Sap-2 may be extremely lytic in nature as majority of their genes possess high translational efficiency, indicating that these phages may be employed in curing staphylococcal infections.
Project description:Multidrug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus cause serious human disease worldwide. Bacteriophages offer a promising alternative to traditional antibiotics. Here, we announce the 141,712-bp genome of S. aureus phage Maine. A myophage with 9,019-bp predicted terminal repeats and high similarity to other Staphylococcus phages, Maine falls into the Twort-like group.
Project description:Phage therapy is a promising option for fighting against staphylococcal infections. Two lytic phages, vB_SauM_phiIPLA-RODI (phiIPLA-RODI) and vB_SepM_phiIPLA-C1C (phiIPLA-C1C), belonging to the Myoviridae family and exhibiting wide host ranges, were characterized in this study. The complete genome sequences comprised 142,348 bp and 140,961 bp and contained 213 and 203 open reading frames, respectively. The gene organization was typical of Spounavirinae members, with long direct terminal repeats (LTRs), genes grouped into modules not clearly separated from each other, and several group I introns. In addition, four genes encoding tRNAs were identified in phiIPLA-RODI. Comparative DNA sequence analysis showed high similarities with two phages, GH15 and 676Z, belonging to the Twort-like virus genus (nucleotide identities of >84%); for phiIPLA-C1C, a high similarity with phage phiIBB-SEP1 was observed (identity of 80%). Challenge assays of phages phiIPLA-RODI and phiIPLA-C1C against planktonic staphylococcal cells confirmed their lytic ability, as they were able to remove 5 log units in 8 h. Exposure of biofilms to phages phiIPLA-RODI and phiIPLA-C1C reduced the amount of adhered bacteria to about 2 log units in both monospecies and dual-species biofilms, but phiIPLA-RODI turned out to be as effective as the mixture of both phages. Moreover, the frequencies of bacteriophage-insensitive mutants (BIMs) of Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis with resistance to phiIPLA-RODI and phiIPLA-C1C were low, at 4.05 × 10(-7) ± 2.34 × 10(-9) and 1.1 × 10(-7) ± 2.08 × 10(-9), respectively. Overall, a generally reduced fitness in the absence of phages was observed for BIMs, which showed a restored phage-sensitive phenotype in a few generations. These results confirm that lytic bacteriophages can be efficient biofilm-disrupting agents, supporting their potential as antimicrobials against staphylococcal infections.