Based on genotyping and host range, two newly isolated lytic bacteriophages, myovirus vB_AbaM_Acibel004 and podovirus vB_AbaP_Acibel007, active against Acinetobacter baumannii clinical strains, were selected from a new phage library for further characterization. The complete genomes of the two phages were analyzed. Both phages are characterized by broad host range and essential features of potential therapeutic phages, such as short latent period (27 and 21 min, respectively), high burst size (125 and 145, respectively), stability of activity in liquid culture and low frequency of occurrence of phage-resistant mutant bacterial cells. Genomic analysis showed that while Acibel004 represents a novel bacteriophage with resemblance to some unclassified Pseudomonas aeruginosa phages, Acibel007 belongs to the well-characterized genus of the Phikmvlikevirus. The newly isolated phages can serve as potential candidates for phage cocktails to control A. baumannii infections.
Spray drying is a valuable technique in pharmaceutical dosage formulation, capable of producing amorphous, spherical powders, suitable for pulmonary deposition and further downstream processing. In this study, we show that spray drying bacteriophages together with trehalose results in an amorphous powder matrix with high glass transition temperature (between 116 and 118°C), typical for amorphous trehalose. These powders are stable at low temperatures (4°C) and relative humidity (0%). However, high humidity causes crystallization of the amorphous matrix, destroying the embedded phages. Furthermore, storage at higher temperature (25°C) causes thermal instability of the embedded phages. The results show that storage conditions are important parameters to take into account in phage therapy development. The resulting particles are hollow spheres, with suitable aerodynamic diameters for deposition into the deep lungs. This opens possibilities to use these phage-containing powder formulations to tackle pulmonary infectious diseases, especially caused by antibiotic resistant pathogens.
Bacterial infections in animals impact our food production, leading to economic losses due to food rejection and the need for preventive and curative measures. Since the onset of the antibiotic era, the rise of antibiotic-resistant pathogens is causing scares in health care and food producing facilities worldwide. In the search of new therapeutics, re-evaluation of bacteriophage (phage) therapy, using naturally occurring bacterial viruses to tackle infections, is gaining interest. Many studies report about phage therapy success, showing the value and power of these natural viruses. Although phages carry some interesting traits and their basic biology is now well understood, this review argues that phage therapy has not revealed all of its secrets and many parameters remain understudied, making the outcome of phage therapy highly variable depending on the disease incidence. These difficulties include poorly understood mechanisms of phage penetration and distribution throughout the body, the variable expression and accessibility of phage receptors on the bacterial host in in vivo conditions and the unusual (non-linear) phage pharmacokinetics. These parameters are not easily measured in realistic in vivo settings, but are nevertheless important hurdles to overcome the high variability of phage therapy trials. This critical approach is in accordance with Goethes statement; "Difficulties increase the nearer we get to the goal". However, since the importance of the goal itself also rises, both difficulties and goal justify the need for additional in depth research in this domain.
The use of bacterial viruses for antibacterial treatment (bacteriophage therapy) is currently being reevaluated. In this study, we analyze the potential of processing bacteriophages in a dry powder formulation, using a laboratory spray dryer. The phages were dried in the presence of lactose, trehalose or dextran 35, serving as an excipient to give the resulting powder the necessary bulk mass and offer protection to the delicate phage structure. Out of the three excipients tested, trehalose was found to be the most efficient in protecting the phages from temperature and shear stress throughout the spray drying process. A low inlet air temperature and atomizing force appeared to be the best parameter conditions for phage survival. Pseudomonas podovirus LUZ19 was remarkably stable, suffering less than 1 logarithmic unit reduction in phage titer. The phage titer of Staphyloccus phage Romulus-containing powders, a member of the Myoviridae family, showed more than 2.5 logarithmic units reduction. On the other hand, Romulus-containing powders showed more favorable characteristics for pulmonary delivery, with a high percentage of dry powder particles in the pulmonary deposition fraction (1-5 ?m particle diameter). Even though the parameters were not optimized for spray drying all phages, it was demonstrated that spray drying phages with this industrial relevant and scalable set up was possible. The resulting powders had desirable size ranges for pulmonary delivery of phages with dry powder inhalers (DPIs).
In 2011, a novel strain of O104:H4 Escherichia coli caused a serious outbreak of foodborne hemolytic uremic syndrome and bloody diarrhea in Germany. Antibiotics were of questionable use and 54 deaths occurred. Candidate therapeutic bacteriophages that efficiently lyse the E. coli O104:H4 outbreak strain could be selected rather easily from a phage bank or isolated from the environment. It is argued that phage therapy should be more considered as a potential armament against the growing threat of (resistant) bacterial infections.
The use of anion-exchange chromatography was investigated as an alternative method to concentrate and purify bacterial viruses, and parameters for different bacteriophages were compared. Chromatography was performed with Convective Interactive Media(®) monoliths, with three different volumes and two matrix chemistries. Eleven morphologically distinct phages were tested, infecting five different bacterial species. For each of the phages tested, a protocol was optimized, including the choice of column chemistry, loading, buffer and elution conditions. The capacity and recovery of the phages on the columns varied considerably between phages. We conclude that anion-exchange chromatography with monoliths is a valid alternative to the more traditional CsCl purification, has upscaling advantages, but it requires more extensive optimization.
The bacterium Dickeya solani, an aggressive biovar 3 variant of Dickeya dianthicola, causes rotting and blackleg in potato. To control this pathogen using bacteriophage therapy, we isolated and characterized two closely related and specific bacteriophages, vB_DsoM_LIMEstone1 and vB_DsoM_LIMEstone2. The LIMEstone phages have a T4-related genome organization and share DNA similarity with Salmonella phage ViI. Microbiological and molecular characterization of the phages deemed them suitable and promising for use in phage therapy. The phages reduced disease incidence and severity on potato tubers in laboratory assays. In addition, in a field trial of potato tubers, when infected with Dickeya solani, the experimental phage treatment resulted in a higher yield. These results form the basis for the development of a bacteriophage-based biocontrol of potato plants and tubers as an alternative for the use of antibiotics.
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