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Comparative analysis of the biological and physical properties of Enterococcus faecalis bacteriophage vB_EfaS_GEC-EfS_3 and Streptococcus mitis bacteriophage vB_SmM_GEC-SmitisM_2

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Enterococcus faecalis and Streptococcus mitis are common commensal inhabitants of the human gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. However, both species can be opportunistic pathogens and cause disease in nosocomial settings. These infections can be difficult to treat because of the frequency of antibiotic resistance among these strains. Bacteriophages are often suggested as an alternative therapeutic agent against these infections. In this study, E. faecalis and S. mitis strains were isolated from female patients with urinary tract infections. Bacteriophages active against these strains were isolated from sewage water from the Mtkvari River. Two phages, designated vB_EfaS_GEC-EfS_3 (Syphoviridae) and vB_SmM_GEC-SmitisM_2 (Myoviridae), were specific for E. faecalis and S. mitis, respectively. Each phage's growth patterns and adsorption rates were quantified. Sensitivity to ultraviolet light and temperature was determined, as was host range and serology. The S. mitis bacteriophage was found to be more resistant to ultraviolet light and exposure to high temperatures than the E. faecalis bacteriophage, despite having a much greater rate of replication. While each phage was able to infect a broad range of strains of the same species as the host species from which they were isolated, they were unable to infect other host species tested.

Keywords: Enterococcus faecalis; Streptococcus mitis; bacteriophage therapy; infection nosocomiale; infectious disease; maladie infectieuse; nosocomial infection; thérapie par les phages

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: George Eliava Institute of Bacteriophages, Microbiology and Virology, Tbilisi, Georgia. 2: Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, New York, USA.

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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