Bacteriophage trigger antiviral immunity and prevent clearance of bacterial infection.
ABSTRACT: Bacteriophage are abundant at sites of bacterial infection, but their effects on mammalian hosts are unclear. We have identified pathogenic roles for filamentous Pf bacteriophage produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa) in suppression of immunity against bacterial infection. Pf promote Pa wound infection in mice and are associated with chronic human Pa wound infections. Murine and human leukocytes endocytose Pf, and internalization of this single-stranded DNA virus results in phage RNA production. This triggers Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3)- and TIR domain-containing adapter-inducing interferon-? (TRIF)-dependent type I interferon production, inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and the suppression of phagocytosis. Conversely, immunization of mice against Pf prevents Pa wound infection. Thus, Pf triggers maladaptive innate viral pattern-recognition responses, which impair bacterial clearance. Vaccination against phage virions represents a potential strategy to prevent bacterial infection.
Project description:Pf bacteriophage are temperate phages that infect the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a major cause of chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) and other settings. Pf and other temperate phages have evolved complex, mutualistic relationships with their bacterial hosts that impact both bacterial phenotypes and chronic infection. We and others have reported that Pf phages are a virulence factor that promote the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa infections in animal models and are associated with worse skin and lung infections in humans. Here we review the biology of Pf phage and what is known about its contributions to pathogenesis and clinical disease. First, we review the structure, genetics, and epidemiology of Pf phage. Next, we address the diverse and surprising ways that Pf phages contribute to P. aeruginosa phenotypes including effects on biofilm formation, antibiotic resistance, and motility. Then, we cover data indicating that Pf phages suppress mammalian immunity at sites of bacterial infection. Finally, we discuss recent literature implicating Pf in chronic P. aeruginosa infections in CF and other settings. Together, these reports suggest that Pf bacteriophage have direct effects on P. aeruginosa infections and that temperate phages are an exciting frontier in microbiology, immunology, and human health.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important opportunistic human pathogen that lives in biofilm-like cell aggregates at sites of chronic infection, such as those that occur in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis and nonhealing ulcers. During growth in a biofilm, P. aeruginosa dramatically increases the production of filamentous Pf bacteriophage (Pf phage). Previous work indicated that when in vivo Pf phage production was inhibited, P. aeruginosa was less virulent. However, it is not clear how the production of abundant quantities of Pf phage similar to those produced by biofilms under in vitro conditions affects pathogenesis. Here, using a murine pneumonia model, we show that the production of biofilm-relevant amounts of Pf phage prevents the dissemination of P. aeruginosa from the lung. Furthermore, filamentous phage promoted bacterial adhesion to mucin and inhibited bacterial invasion of airway epithelial cultures, suggesting that Pf phage traps P. aeruginosa within the lung. The in vivo production of Pf phage was also associated with reduced lung injury, reduced neutrophil recruitment, and lower cytokine levels. Additionally, when producing Pf phage, P. aeruginosa was less prone to phagocytosis by macrophages than bacteria not producing Pf phage. Collectively, these data suggest that filamentous Pf phage alters the progression of the inflammatory response and promotes phenotypes typically associated with chronic infection.
Project description:Filamentous bacteriophage (Pf phage) contribute to the virulence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in animal models, but their relevance to human disease is unclear. We sought to interrogate the prevalence and clinical relevance of Pf phage in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) using sputum samples from two well-characterized patient cohorts. Bacterial genomic analysis in a Danish longitudinal cohort of 34 patients with CF revealed that 26.5% (n = 9) were consistently Pf phage positive. In the second cohort, a prospective cross-sectional cohort of 58 patients with CF at Stanford, sputum qPCR analysis showed that 36.2% (n = 21) of patients were Pf phage positive. In both cohorts, patients positive for Pf phage were older, and in the Stanford CF cohort, patients positive for Pf phage were more likely to have chronic P. aeruginosa infection and had greater declines in pulmonary function during exacerbations than patients negative for Pf phage presence in the sputum. Last, P. aeruginosa strains carrying Pf phage exhibited increased resistance to antipseudomonal antibiotics. Mechanistically, in vitro analysis showed that Pf phage sequesters these same antibiotics, suggesting that this mechanism may thereby contribute to the selection of antibiotic resistance over time. These data provide evidence that Pf phage may contribute to clinical outcomes in P. aeruginosa infection in CF.
Project description:The recorded growth in infection by multidrug resistant bacteria necessitates prompt efforts toward developing alternatives to antibiotics, such as bacteriophage therapy. Immuno-compromised patients with diabetes mellitus are particularly prone to foot infections by multidrug resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, which may be compounded by chronic osteomyelitis. Bacteriophage ZCKP1, isolated from freshwater in Giza, Egypt, was tested in vitro to evaluate its lytic activity against a multidrug resistant K. pneumoniae KP/01, isolated from foot wound of a diabetic patient in Egypt. Characterization of ZCKP1 phage indicated that it belonged to the Myoviridae family of bacteriophages with a ds-DNA genome size of 150.9 kb. Bacteriophage ZCKP1 lysed a range of osteomyelitis pathogenic agents including Klebsiella spp., Proteus spp. and E. coli isolates. The bacteriophage reduced the bacterial counts of host bacteria by ?2 log10 CFU/ml at 25°C, and demonstrated the ability to reduce bacterial counts and biofilm biomass (>50%) when applied at high multiplicity of infection (50 PFU/CFU). These characteristics make ZCKP1 phage of potential therapeutic value to treat K. pneumoniae and associated bacteria present in diabetic foot patients.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Pa), normally a soil commensal, is an important opportunistic pathogen in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis (nCFBR). Persistent infection correlates with accelerated decline in lung function and early mortality. The horizontal transfer of DNA by temperate bacteriophages can add gene function and selective advantages to their bacterial host within the constrained environment of the lower lung. In this study, we chemically induce temperate bacteriophages from clonal cultures of Pa and identify their mixed viral communities employing metagenomic approaches. We compared 92 temperate phage metagenomes stratified from these clinical backgrounds (47 CF and 45 nCFBR Pa isolates) using MG-RAST and GeneWise2. KEGG analysis shows the complexity of temperate phage accessory gene carriage increases with duration and severity of the disease. Furthermore, we identify the presence of Ig-like motifs within phage structural genes linked to bacterial adhesion and carbohydrate binding including Big_2, He_Pig, and Fn3. This study provides the first clinical support to the proposed bacteriophage adherence to mucus (BAM) model and the evolution of phages interacting at these mucosal surfaces over time.
Project description:In persons with structural lung disease, particularly those with cystic fibrosis (CF), chronic airway infections cause progressive loss of lung function. CF airways can be colonized by a variety of microorganisms; the most frequently encountered bacterial and fungal pathogens are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Aspergillus fumigatus, respectively. Co-infection with P. aeruginosa and A. fumigatus often results in a more rapid loss of lung function, indicating that interactions between these pathogens affect infection pathogenesis. There has been renewed interest in the use of viruses (bacteriophage, mycoviruses) as alternatives to antibiotics to treat these infections. In previous work, we found that filamentous Pf bacteriophage produced by P. aeruginosa directly inhibited the metabolic activity of A. fumigatus by binding to and sequestering iron. In the current study, we further examined how filamentous Pf bacteriophage affected interactions between P. aeruginosa and A. fumigatus. Here, we report that the antifungal properties of supernatants collected from P. aeruginosa cultures infected with Pf bacteriophage were substantially less inhibitory towards A. fumigatus biofilms. In particular, we found that acute infection of P. aeruginosa by Pf bacteriophage inhibited the production of the virulence factor pyoverdine. Our results raise the possibility that the reduced production of antimicrobials by P. aeruginosa infected by Pf bacteriophage may promote conditions in CF airways that allow co-infection with A. fumigatus to occur, exacerbating disease severity. Our results also highlight the importance of considering how the use of bacteriophage as therapeutic agents could affect the behavior and composition of polymicrobial communities colonizing sites of chronic infection.
Project description:Bacteriophage has been recognized as a novel approach to treat bacterial infectious diseases. However, phage resistance may reduce the efficacy of phage therapy. Here, we described a mechanism of bacterial resistance to phage infections. In Gram-negative enteric pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus, we found that polar flagella can reduce the phage infectivity. Deletion of polar flagella, but not the lateral flagella, can dramatically promote the adsorption of phage to the bacteria and enhances the phage infectivity to V. parahaemolyticus, indicating that polar flagella play an inhibitory role in the phage infection. Notably, it is the rotation, not the physical presence, of polar flagella that inhibits the phage infection of V. parahaemolyticus. Strikingly, phage dramatically reduces the virulence of V. parahaemolyticus only when polar flagella were absent both in vitro and in vivo. These results indicated that polar flagella rotation is a previously unidentified mechanism that confers bacteriophage resistance.
Project description:New strategies against antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens are urgently needed but are not within reach. Here, we present in vitro and in vivo antimicrobial activity of TSPphg, a novel phage lysin identified from extremophilic Thermus phage TSP4 by sequencing its whole genome. By breaking down the bacterial cells, TSPphg is able to cause bacteria destruction and has shown bactericidal activity against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive pathogenic bacteria, especially antibiotic-resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, in which the complete elimination and highest reduction in bacterial counts by greater than 6 logs were observed upon 50 ?g/mL TSPphg treatment at 37 °C for 1 h. A murine skin infection model further confirmed the in vivo efficacy of TSPphg in removing a highly dangerous and multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from skin damage and in accelerating wound closure. Together, our findings may offer a therapeutic alternative to help fight bacterial infections in the current age of mounting antibiotic resistance, and to shed light on bacteriophage-based strategies to develop novel anti-infectives.
Project description:The spread of multidrug antibiotic resistance (MDR) is a widely recognized crisis in the treatment of bacterial infections, including those occurring in military communities. Recently, the World Health Organization published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant "priority pathogens" - a catalog of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health with A. baumannii listed in the "Priority 1: Critical" category of pathogens. With the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance and limited development of new classes of antibiotics, alternative antimicrobial therapies are needed, with lytic bacteriophage (phage) specifically targeted against each of the high priority bacterial infections as a potential approach currently in development toward regulatory approval for clinical use. Balb/c mice were prophylactically administered PBS or phage selected against A. baumannii strain AB5075. After 3 weeks, mice were anesthetized, wounded (dorsal), and challenged topically with AB5075. Following infection, mice were subsequently treated with PBS or phage for three consecutive days, and evaluated for 3 weeks to assess the safety and efficacy of the phage treatment relative to the control. We assessed mortality, bacterial burden, time to wound closure, systemic and local cytokine profiles, alterations in host cellular immunity, and finally presence of neutralizing antibodies to the phage mixture. In our study, we found that prophylactic phage administration led to a significant reduction in monocyte-related cytokines in serum compared to mice given PBS. However, we detected no significant changes to circulating blood populations or immune cell populations of secondary lymphoid organs compared to PBS-treated mice. Following prophylactic phage administration, we detected a marked increase in total immunoglobulins in serum, particularly IgG2a and IgG2b. Furthermore, we determined that these antibodies were able to specifically target phage and effectively neutralize their ability to lyse their respective target. In regards to their therapeutic efficacy, administration of phage treatment effectively decreased wound size of mice infected with AB5075 without adverse effects. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that phage can serve as a safe and effective novel therapeutic agent against A. baumannii without adverse reactions to the host and pre-exposure to phage does not seem to adversely affect therapeutic efficacy. This study is an important proof of concept to support the efforts to develop phage as a novel therapeutic product for treatment of complex bacterial wound infections.
Project description:Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) caused by methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are difficult to treat. Bacteriophage (phage) represent a potential alternate treatment for antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. In this study, 7 novel phage with broad lytic activity for S. aureus were isolated and identified. Screening of a diverse collection of 170 clinical isolates by efficiency of plating (EOP) assays shows that the novel phage are virulent and effectively prevent growth of 70-91% of MRSA and methicillin sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) isolates. Phage K, which was previously identified as having lytic activity on S. aureus was tested on the S. aureus collection and shown to prevent growth of 82% of the isolates. These novel phage group were examined by electron microscopy, the results of which indicate that the phage belong to the Myoviridae family of viruses. The novel phage group requires ?-N-acetyl glucosamine (GlcNac) moieties on cell wall teichoic acids for infection. The phage were distinct from, but closely related to, phage K as characterized by restriction endonuclease analysis. Furthermore, growth rate analysis via OmniLog® microplate assay indicates that a combination of phage K, with phage SA0420?1, SA0456?1 or SA0482?1 have a synergistic phage-mediated lytic effect on MRSA and suppress formation of phage resistance. These results indicate that a broad spectrum lytic phage mixture can suppress the emergence of resistant bacterial populations and hence have great potential for combating S. aureus wound infections.