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.
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 24, 2013
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