The ability of phages to specifically interact with and lyse their host bacteria makes them ideal antibacterial agents. The range of applications of bacteriophage can be extended by their immobilization on inert surfaces. A novel method for the oriented immobilization of bacteriophage has been developed. The method was based on charge differences between the bacteriophage head, which exhibits an overall net negative charge, and the tail fibers, which possess an overall net positive charge. Hence, the head would be more likely to attach to positively charged surfaces, leaving the tails free to capture and lyse bacteria. Cellulose membranes modified so that they had a positive surface charge were used as the support for phage immobilization. It was established that the number of infective phages immobilized on the positively charged cellulose membranes was significantly higher than that on unmodified membranes. Cocktails of phages active against Listeria or Escherichia coli immobilized on these membranes were shown to effectively control the growth of L. monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 in ready-to-eat and raw meat, respectively, under different storage temperatures and packaging conditions. The phage storage stability was investigated to further extend their industrial applications. It was shown that lyophilization can be used as a phage-drying method to maintain their infectivity on the newly developed bioactive materials. In conclusion, utilizing the charge difference between phage heads and tails provided a simple technique for oriented immobilization applicable to a wide range of phages and allowed the retention of infectivity.
A long history of experimental work has shown that addition of bacteriophages to a monoculture of bacteria leads to only a temporary depression of bacterial levels. Resistant bacteria usually become abundant, despite reduced growth rates relative to those of phage-sensitive bacteria. This restoration of high bacterial density occurs even if the phages evolve to overcome bacterial resistance. We believe that the generality of this result may be limited to monocultures, in which the resistant bacteria do not face competition from bacterial species unaffected by the phage. As a simple case, we investigated the impact of phages attacking one species in a two-species culture of bacteria. In the absence of phages, Escherichia coli B and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium were stably maintained during daily serial passage in glucose minimal medium (M9). When either of two E. coli-specific phages (T7 or T5) was added to the mixed culture, E. coli became extinct or was maintained at densities that were orders of magnitude lower than those before phage introduction, even though the E. coli densities with phage reached high levels when Salmonella was absent. In contrast, the addition of a phage that attacked only Salmonella (SP6) led to transient decreases in the bacterial number whether E. coli was absent or present. These results suggest that phages can sometimes, although not always, provide long-term suppression of target bacteria.
Of the Salmonella enterica serovars, S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium are responsible for most of the Salmonella outbreaks implicated in the consumption of contaminated foods in the Republic of Korea. Because of the widespread occurrence of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella in foods and food processing environments, bacteriophages have recently surfaced as an alternative biocontrol tool. In this study, we isolated a virulent bacteriophage (wksl3) that could specifically infect S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium, and several additional serovars. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that phage wksl3 belongs to the family Siphoviridae. Complete genome sequence analysis and bioinformatic analysis revealed that the DNA of phage wksl3 is composed of 42,766 bp with 64 open reading frames. Since it does not encode any phage lysogeny factors, toxins, pathogen-related genes, or food-borne allergens, phage wksl3 may be considered a virulent phage with no side effects. Analysis of genetic similarities between phage wksl3 and four of its relatives (SS3e, vB_SenS-Ent1, SE2, and SETP3) allowed wksl3 to be categorized as a SETP3-like phage. A single-dose test of oral toxicity with BALB/c mice resulted in no abnormal clinical observations. Moreover, phage application to chicken skin at 8°C resulted in an about 2.5-log reduction in the number of Salmonella bacteria during the test period. The strong, stable lytic activity, the significant reduction of the number of S. Enteritidis bacteria after application to food, and the lack of clinical symptoms of this phage suggest that wksl3 may be a useful agent for the protection of foods against S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium contamination.
Phages are promising alternatives to antibodies as the biorecognition element in a variety of biosensing applications. In this study, a monolayer of bacteriophage P22 whose tailspike proteins specifically recognize Salmonella serotypes was covalently bound to glass substrates through a bifunctional cross linker 3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane. The specific binding of Salmonella typhimurium to the phage monolayer was studied by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and atomic force microscopy. Escherichia coli and a Gram-positive bacterium Listeria monocytogenes were also studied as control bacteria. The P22 particles show strong binding affinity to Salmonella typhimurium. In addition, the dried P22 monolayer maintained 50% binding capacity to Salmonella typhimurium after a one-week storage time. This is a promising method to prepare phage monolayer coatings on surface plasmon resonance and acoustic biosensor substrates in order to utilize the nascent phage display technology.
bacteriophage; Salmonella typhimurium; lipopolysaccharide membrane
Pathogens may reach agricultural soils through application of animal manure and thereby pose a risk of contaminating crops as well as surface and groundwater. Treatment and handling of manure for improved nutrient and odor management may also influence the amount and fate of manure-borne pathogens in the soil. A study was conducted to investigate the leaching potentials of a phage (Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium bacteriophage 28B) and two bacteria, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus species, in a liquid fraction of raw pig slurry obtained by solid-liquid separation of this slurry and in this liquid fraction after ozonation, when applied to intact soil columns by subsurface injection. We also compared leaching potentials of surface-applied and subsurface-injected raw slurry. The columns were exposed to irrigation events (3.5-h period at 10 mm h−1) after 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks of incubation with collection of leachate. By the end of incubation, the distribution and survival of microorganisms in the soil of each treatment and in nonirrigated columns with injected raw slurry or liquid fraction were determined. E. coli in the leachates was quantified by both plate counts and quantitative PCR (qPCR) to assess the proportions of culturable and nonculturable (viable and nonviable) cells. Solid-liquid separation of slurry increased the redistribution in soil of contaminants in the liquid fraction compared to raw slurry, and the percent recovery of E. coli and Enterococcus species was higher for the liquid fraction than for raw slurry after the four leaching events. The liquid fraction also resulted in more leaching of all contaminants except Enterococcus species than did raw slurry. Ozonation reduced E. coli leaching only. Injection enhanced the leaching potential of the microorganisms investigated compared to surface application, probably because of a better survival with subsurface injection and a shorter leaching path.
Increasing amounts of livestock manure are being applied to agricultural soil, but it is unknown to what extent this may be associated with contamination of aquatic recipients and groundwater if microorganisms are transported through the soil under natural weather conditions. The objective of this study was therefore to evaluate how injection and surface application of pig slurry on intact sandy clay loam soil cores influenced the leaching of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium bacteriophage 28B, Escherichia coli, and Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts. All three microbial tracers were detected in the leachate on day 1, and the highest relative concentration was detected on the fourth day (0.1 pore volume). Although the concentration of the phage 28B declined over time, the phage was still found in leachate at day 148. C. parvum oocysts and chloride had an additional rise in the relative concentration at a 0.5 pore volume, corresponding to the exchange of the total pore volume. The leaching of E. coli was delayed compared with that of the added microbial tracers, indicating a stronger attachment to slurry particles, but E. coli could be detected up to 3 months. Significantly enhanced leaching of phage 28B and oocysts by the injection method was seen, whereas leaching of the indigenous E. coli was not affected by the application method. Preferential flow was the primary transport vehicle, and the diameter of the fractures in the intact soil cores facilitated transport of all sizes of microbial tracers under natural weather conditions.
Some bacteriophages target potentially pathogenic bacteria by exploiting surface-associated virulence factors as receptors. For example, phage have been identified that exhibit specificity for Vi capsule producing Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. Here we have characterized the Vi-associated E1-typing bacteriophage using a number of molecular approaches. The absolute requirement for Vi capsule expression for infectivity was demonstrated using different Vi-negative S. enterica derivatives. The phage particles were shown to have an icosahedral head and a long noncontractile tail structure. The genome is 45,362 bp in length with defined capsid and tail regions that exhibit significant homology to the S. enterica transducing phage ES18. Mass spectrometry was used to confirm the presence of a number of hypothetical proteins in the Vi phage E1 particle and demonstrate that a number of phage proteins are modified posttranslationally. The genome of the Vi phage E1 is significantly related to other bacteriophages belonging to the same serovar Typhi phage-typing set, and we demonstrate a role for phage DNA modification in determining host specificity.
Comparative genomics demonstrated that the chromosomes from bacteria and their viruses (bacteriophages) are coevolving. This process is most evident for bacterial pathogens where the majority contain prophages or phage remnants integrated into the bacterial DNA. Many prophages from bacterial pathogens encode virulence factors. Two situations can be distinguished: Vibrio cholerae, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, and Clostridium botulinum depend on a specific prophage-encoded toxin for causing a specific disease, whereas Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium harbor a multitude of prophages and each phage-encoded virulence or fitness factor makes an incremental contribution to the fitness of the lysogen. These prophages behave like “swarms” of related prophages. Prophage diversification seems to be fueled by the frequent transfer of phage material by recombination with superinfecting phages, resident prophages, or occasional acquisition of other mobile DNA elements or bacterial chromosomal genes. Prophages also contribute to the diversification of the bacterial genome architecture. In many cases, they actually represent a large fraction of the strain-specific DNA sequences. In addition, they can serve as anchoring points for genome inversions. The current review presents the available genomics and biological data on prophages from bacterial pathogens in an evolutionary framework.
A series of bacteriophages, lytic for bacteria belonging to the genera Escherichia and Salmonella, were isolated. The phages were isolated from fecal samples, intestinal contents of turkey poults, and carrier cultures of S. typhimurium, S. typhimurium var copenhagen, S. heidelberg, and E. coli. The feasibility of using different habitats as sources of Salmonella phages was evaluated. The carrier cultures were the most promising source for phages active on the serotypes for which the phages were sought. A host range study of the isolated phages was made. Eight phages were selected to develop a phage typing scheme for S. typhimurium, S. typhimurium var copenhagen, and S. heidelberg.
Acute enteric infections caused by salmonellas remain a major public health burden worldwide. Poultry, particularly chickens, are known to be the main reservoir for this zoonotic pathogen. Although some progress has been made in reducing Salmonella colonization of broiler chickens by using biosecurity and antimicrobials, it still remains a considerable problem. The use of host-specific bacteriophages as a biocontrol is one possible intervention by which Salmonella colonization could be reduced. A total of 232 Salmonella bacteriophages were isolated from poultry farms, abattoirs, and wastewater in 2004 and 2005. Three phages exhibiting the broadest host ranges against Salmonella enterica serotypes Enteritidis, Hadar, and Typhimurium were characterized further by determining their morphology and lytic activity in vitro. These phages were then administered in antacid suspension to birds experimentally colonized with specific Salmonella host strains. The first phage reduced S. enterica serotype Enteritidis cecal colonization by ≥4.2 log10 CFU within 24 h compared with controls. Administration of the second phage reduced S. enterica serotype Typhimurium by ≥2.19 log10 CFU within 24 h. The third bacteriophage was ineffective at reducing S. enterica serotype Hadar colonization. Bacteriophage resistance occurred at a frequency commensurate with the titer of phage being administered, with larger phage titers resulting in a greater proportion of resistant salmonellas. The selection of appropriate bacteriophages and optimization of both the timing and method of phage delivery are key factors in the successful phage-mediated control of salmonellas in broiler chickens.
Kondo, Eiko (Gunma University, Maebashi, Japan), and Susumu Mitsuhashi. Drug resistance of enteric bacteria. VI. Introduction of bacteriophage P1CM into Salmonella typhi and formation of P1dCM and F-CM elements. J. Bacteriol. 91:1787–1794. 1966.—Bacteriophage P1CM was introduced into Salmonella typhi by means of both phage infection and conjugation with Escherichia coli F+ lysogenic for the phage. Upon incubation with a P1CM phage lysate, S. typhi and S. abony yield CMr cells which are lysogenic for P1CM, but S. typhimurium LT2 does not. The P1CM phage is adsorbed slightly to S. typhi, but no infectious centers are formed when the phage is plated on this strain. Tests on P1CM-adsorbing capacity of the S. typhi P1CM+ strain and on plaque formation and transduction ability of the recovered phage from this strain indicated that the cell and the phage population did not have any special advantage over the original cell and phage population. Conjugation of S. typhi with E. coli F+ carrying P1CM+ gave three types of S. typhi CMr clones: those which carry the whole P1CM phage, those with the P1dCM element, and those with nontransferable CMr. The second type has the F factor and is sensitive to f phages in spite of its typical behavior, serologically and biochemically, as S. typhi. It can donate the P1dCM and F+ characters to E. coli F− or F−/P1 strains. As a consequence of conjugation with the E. coli F+ strain, the CMr character of the third type of S. typhi, the nontransferable CMr element, acquired conjugational transferability, owing to the formation of the element, F-CM. This element can be transferred to an E. coli F− strain at a very high frequency (ca. 100). Both the F and CMr determinants are jointly transduced with P1 phage and are jointly eliminated by acridine dye treatment.
A method was developed for oriented immobilization of bacteriophage T4 through introduction of specific binding ligands into the phage head using a phage display technique. Fusion of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein gene (bccp) or the cellulose binding module gene (cbm) with the small outer capsid protein gene (soc) of T4 resulted in expression of the respective ligand on the phage head. Recombinant bacteriophages were characterized in terms of infectivity. It was shown that both recombinant phages retain their lytic activity and host range. However, phage head modification resulted in a decreased burst size and an increased latent period. The efficiency of bacteriophage immobilization with streptavidin-coated magnetic beads and cellulose-based materials was investigated. It was shown that recombinant bacteriophages form specific and strong bonds with their respective solid support and are able to specifically capture and infect the host bacterium. Thus, the use of immobilized BCCP-T4 bacteriophage for an Escherichia coli B assay using a phage multiplication approach and real-time PCR allowed detection of as few as 800 cells within 2 h.
The use of bacteriophages, instead of antibodies, in the ELISA-based detection of bacterial strains was tested. This procedure appeared to be efficient, and specific strains of Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli could be detected. The sensitivity of the assay was about 105 bacterial cells/well (106/ml), which is comparable with or outperforms other ELISA tests detecting intact bacterial cells without an enrichment step. The specificity of the assay depends on the kind of bacteriophage used. We conclude that the use of bacteriophages in the detection and identification of bacteria by an ELISA-based method can be an alternative to the use of specific antibodies. The advantages of the use of bacteriophages are their environmental abundance (and, thus, a possibility to isolate various phages with different specificities) and the availability of methods for obtaining large amounts of phage lysates, which are simple, rapid, cheap, and easy.
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.
Salmonella is the second-leading cause of food-borne illness in most developed countries, causing diarrhea, cramps, vomiting, and often fever. Many rapid methods are available for detection of Salmonella in foods, but these methods are often insensitive or expensive or require a high degree of technical ability to perform. In this paper we describe development and characterization of a novel assay that utilizes the normal infection cycle of bacteriophage SJ2 for detection of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis in broth. The assay consists of four main stages: (i) capture and concentration of target cells by using immunomagnetic separation (IMS); (ii) infection of the target bacterium with phage; (iii) amplification and recovery of progeny phage; and (iv) assay of progeny phage on the basis of their effect on a healthy population of host cells (signal-amplifying cells). The end point of the assay can be determined by using either fluorescence or optical density measurements. The detection limit of the assay in broth is less than 104 CFU/ml, and the assay can be performed in 4 to 5 h. The results of this study demonstrate that the IMS-bacteriophage assay is a rapid, simple, and sensitive technique for detection of Salmonella serovar Enteritidis in broth cultures which can be applied to preenriched food samples.
Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhimurium is a Gram-negative pathogen causing salmonellosis. Salmonella Typhimurium-targeting bacteriophages have been proposed as an alternative biocontrol agent to antibiotics. To further understand infection and interaction mechanisms between the host strains and the bacteriophages, the receptor diversity of these phages needs to be elucidated.
Twenty-five Salmonella phages were isolated and their receptors were identified by screening a Tn5 random mutant library of S. Typhimurium SL1344. Among them, three types of receptors were identified flagella (11 phages), vitamin B12 uptake outer membrane protein, BtuB (7 phages) and lipopolysaccharide-related O-antigen (7 phages). TEM observation revealed that the phages using flagella (group F) or BtuB (group B) as a receptor belong to Siphoviridae family, and the phages using O-antigen of LPS as a receptor (group L) belong to Podoviridae family. Interestingly, while some of group F phages (F-I) target FliC host receptor, others (F-II) target both FliC and FljB receptors, suggesting that two subgroups are present in group F phages. Cross-resistance assay of group B and L revealed that group L phages could not infect group B phage-resistant strains and reversely group B phages could not infect group L SPN9TCW-resistant strain.
In this report, three receptor groups of 25 newly isolated S. Typhimurium-targeting phages were determined. Among them, two subgroups of group F phages interact with their host receptors in different manner. In addition, the host receptors of group B or group L SPN9TCW phages hinder other group phage infection, probably due to interaction between receptors of their groups. This study provides novel insights into phage-host receptor interaction for Salmonella phages and will inform development of optimal phage therapy for protection against Salmonella.
Viruses have recently proven useful for the detection of target analytes such as explosives, proteins, bacteria, viruses, spores, and toxins with high selectivity and sensitivity. Bacteriophages (often shortened to phages), viruses that specifically infect bacteria, are currently the most studied viruses, mainly because target-specific nonlytic phages (and the peptides and proteins carried by them) can be identified by using the well-established phage display technique, and lytic phages can specifically break bacteria to release cell-specific marker molecules such as enzymes that can be assayed. In addition, phages have good chemical and thermal stability, and can be conjugated with nanomaterials and immobilized on a transducer surface in an analytical device. This Review focuses on progress made in the use of phages in chemical and biological sensors in combination with traditional analytical techniques. Recent progress in the use of virus—nanomaterial composites and other viruses in sensing applications is also high-lighted.
bacteria; biosensing; phages; sensors; viruses
One of the key determinants of the size, composition, structure, and development of a microbial community is the predation pressure by bacteriophages. Accordingly, bacteria have evolved a battery of antiphage defense strategies. Since maintaining constantly elevated defenses is costly, we hypothesize that some bacteria have additionally evolved the abilities to estimate the risk of phage infection and to adjust their strategies accordingly. One risk parameter is the density of the bacterial population. Hence, quorum sensing, i.e., the ability to regulate gene expression according to population density, may be an important determinant of phage-host interactions. This hypothesis was investigated in the model system of Escherichia coli and phage λ. We found that, indeed, quorum sensing constitutes a significant, but so far overlooked, determinant of host susceptibility to phage attack. Specifically, E. coli reduces the numbers of λ receptors on the cell surface in response to N-acyl-l-homoserine lactone (AHL) quorum-sensing signals, causing a 2-fold reduction in the phage adsorption rate. The modest reduction in phage adsorption rate leads to a dramatic increase in the frequency of uninfected survivor cells after a potent attack by virulent phages. Notably, this mechanism may apply to a broader range of phages, as AHLs also reduce the risk of χ phage infection through a different receptor.
To enable the successful manipulation of bacterial populations, a comprehensive understanding of the factors that naturally shape microbial communities is required. One of the key factors in this context is the interactions between bacteria and the most abundant biological entities on Earth, namely, the bacteriophages that prey on bacteria. This proof-of-principle study shows that quorum sensing plays an important role in determining the susceptibility of E. coli to infection by bacteriophages λ and χ. On the basis of our findings in the classical Escherichia coli-λ model system, we suggest that quorum sensing may serve as a general strategy to protect bacteria specifically under conditions of high risk of infection.
Bacteriophage P1 has a contractile tail that targets the conserved lipopolysaccharide on the outer membrane surface of the host for initial adsorption. The mechanism by which P1 DNA enters the host cell is not well understood, mainly because the transient molecular interactions between bacteriophage and bacteria have been difficult to study by conventional approaches. Here, we engineered tiny E. coli host cells so that the initial stages of P1-host interactions could be captured in unprecedented detail by cryo-electron tomography. Analysis of three-dimensional reconstructions of frozen-hydrated specimens revealed three predominant configurations: an extended tail stage with DNA present in the phage head, a contracted tail stage with DNA, and a contracted tail stage without DNA. Comparative analysis of various conformations indicated that there is uniform penetration of the inner tail tube into the E. coli periplasm and a significant movement of the baseplate away from the outer membrane during tail contraction.
It is generally thought that the adsorption rate of a bacteriophage correlates positively with fitness, but this view neglects that most phages rely only on exponentially growing bacteria for productive infections. Thus, phages must cope with the environmental stochasticity that is their hosts’ physiological state. If lysogeny is one alternative, it is unclear how strictly lytic phages can survive the host stationary phase. Three scenarios may explain their maintenance: (1) pseudolysogeny, (2) diversified, or (3) conservative bet hedging. To better understand how a strictly lytic phage survives the stationary phase of its host, and how phage adsorption rate impacts this survival, we challenged two strictly lytic phage λ, differing in their adsorption rates, with stationary phase Escherichia coli cells. Our results showed that, pseudolysogeny was not responsible for phage survival and that, contrary to our expectation, high adsorption rate was not more detrimental during stationary phase than low adsorption rate. Interestingly, this last observation was due to the presence of the “residual fraction” (phages exhibiting extremely low adsorption rates), protecting phage populations from extinction. Whether this cryptic phenotypic variation is an adaptation (diversified bet hedging) or merely reflecting unavoidable defects during protein synthesis remains an open question.
Adsorption rate; heterogeneous phage subpopulation; phenotypic stochasticity; stationary phase; tail fiber
Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis has remained a major food-borne pathogen in humans. We isolated a virulent S. enterica serovar Enteritidis bacteriophage, SE2, which belongs to the family Siphoviridae. Phage SE2 could lyse S. enterica serovar Enteritidis PT-4, and its virulence was maintained even at ambient temperature. The genomic sequence of phage SE2 was composed of 43,221 bp with close similarity to those of Salmonella phage SETP3 and Salmonella phage SS3e. The strong and stable lytic activity of this phage might enable its use as a therapeutic or biocontrol agent against S. enterica serovar Enteritidis.
To understand the interaction between the host of pathogenic Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and its bacteriophage, we isolated the bacteriophage SPN1S. It is a lysogenic phage in the Podoviridae family and uses the O-antigen of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) as a host receptor. Comparative genomic analysis of phage SPN1S and the S. enterica serovar Anatum-specific phage ε15 revealed different host specificities, probably due to the low homology of host specificity-related genes. Here we report the complete circular genome sequence of S. Typhimurium-specific bacteriophage SPN1S and show the results of our analysis.
Lytic bacteriophages, applied to chicken skin that had been experimentally contaminated with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis or Campylobacter jejuni at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 1, increased in titer and reduced the pathogen numbers by less than 1 log10 unit. Phages applied at a MOI of 100 to 1,000 rapidly reduced the recoverable bacterial numbers by up to 2 log10 units over 48 h. When the level of Salmonella contamination was low (< log10 2 per unit area of skin) and the MOI was 105, no organisms were recovered. By increasing the number of phage particles applied (i.e., MOI of 107), it was also possible to eliminate other Salmonella strains that showed high levels of resistance because of restriction but to which the phages were able to attach.
H8 is derived from a collection of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis bacteriophage. Its morphology and genomic structure closely resemble those of bacteriophage T5 in the family Siphoviridae. H8 infected S. enterica serotypes Enteritidis and Typhimurium and Escherichia coli by initial adsorption to the outer membrane protein FepA. Ferric enterobactin inhibited H8 binding to E. coli FepA (50% inhibition concentration, 98 nM), and other ferric catecholate receptors (Fiu, Cir, and IroN) did not participate in phage adsorption. H8 infection was TonB dependent, but exbB mutations in Salmonella or E. coli did not prevent infection; only exbB tolQ or exbB tolR double mutants were resistant to H8. Experiments with deletion and substitution mutants showed that the receptor-phage interaction first involves residues distributed over the protein's outer surface and then narrows to the same charged (R316) or aromatic (Y260) residues that participate in the binding and transport of ferric enterobactin and colicins B and D. These data rationalize the multifunctionality of FepA: toxic ligands like bacteriocins and phage penetrate the outer membrane by parasitizing residues in FepA that are adapted to the transport of the natural ligand, ferric enterobactin. DNA sequence determinations revealed the complete H8 genome of 104.4 kb. A total of 120 of its 143 predicted open reading frames (ORFS) were homologous to ORFS in T5, at a level of 84% identity and 89% similarity. As in T5, the H8 structural genes clustered on the chromosome according to their function in the phage life cycle. The T5 genome contains a large section of DNA that can be deleted and that is absent in H8: compared to T5, H8 contains a 9,000-bp deletion in the early region of its chromosome, and nine potentially unique gene products. Sequence analyses of the tail proteins of phages in the same family showed that relative to pb5 (Oad) of T5 and Hrs of BF23, the FepA-binding protein (Rbp) of H8 contains unique acidic and aromatic residues. These side chains may promote binding to basic and aromatic residues in FepA that normally function in the adsorption of ferric enterobactin. Furthermore, a predicted H8 tail protein showed extensive identity and similarity to pb2 of T5, suggesting that it also functions in pore formation through the cell envelope. The variable region of this protein contains a potential TonB box, intimating that it participates in the TonB-dependent stage of the phage infection process.
Salmonella spp. are enteropathogenic gram-negative bacteria that use a large array of virulence factors to colonize the host, manipulate host cells, and resist the host's defense mechanisms. Even closely related Salmonella strains have different repertoires of virulence factors. Bacteriophages contribute substantially to this diversity. There is increasing evidence that the reassortment of virulence factor repertoires by converting phages like the GIFSY phages and SopEΦ may represent an important mechanism in the adaptation of Salmonella spp. to specific hosts and to the emergence of new epidemic strains. Here, we have analyzed in more detail SopEΦ, a P2-like phage from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium DT204 that encodes the virulence factor SopE. We have cloned and characterized the attachment site (att) of SopEΦ and found that its 47-bp core sequence overlaps the 3′ terminus of the ssrA gene of serovar Typhimurium. Furthermore, we have demonstrated integration of SopEΦ into the cloned attB site of serovar Typhimurium A36. Sequence analysis of the plasmid-borne prophage revealed that SopEΦ is closely related to (60 to 100% identity over 80% of the genome) but clearly distinct from the Fels-2 prophage of serovar Typhimurium LT2 and from P2-like phages in the serovar Typhi CT18 genome. Our results demonstrate that there is considerable variation among the P2-like phages present in closely related Salmonella spp.