Differential infection properties of three inducible prophages from an epidemic strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosaReport as inadecuate

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BMC Microbiology

, 12:216

Ecological and evolutionary microbiology


BackgroundPseudomonas aeruginosa is the most common bacterial pathogen infecting the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis CF. The Liverpool Epidemic Strain LES is transmissible, capable of superseding other P. aeruginosa populations and is associated with increased morbidity. Previously, multiple inducible prophages have been found to coexist in the LES chromosome and to constitute a major component of the accessory genome not found in other sequenced P. aerugionosa strains. LES phages confer a competitive advantage in a rat model of chronic lung infection and may, therefore underpin LES prevalence. Here the infective properties of three LES phages were characterised.

ResultsThis study focuses on three of the five active prophages LES2, LES3 and LES4 that are members of the Siphoviridae. All were induced from LESB58 by norfloxacin. Lytic production of LES2 was considerably higher than that of LES3 and LES4. Each phage was capable of both lytic and lysogenic infection of the susceptible P. aeruginosa host, PAO1, producing phage-specific plaque morphologies. In the PAO1 host background, the LES2 prophage conferred immunity against LES3 infection and reduced susceptibility to LES4 infection. Each prophage was less stable in the PAO1 chromosome with substantially higher rates of spontaneous phage production than when residing in the native LESB58 host. We show that LES phages are capable of horizontal gene transfer by infecting P. aeruginosa strains from different sources and that type IV pili are required for infection by all three phages.

ConclusionsMultiple inducible prophages with diverse infection properties have been maintained in the LES genome. Our data suggest that LES2 is more sensitive to induction into the lytic cycle or has a more efficient replicative cycle than the other LES phages.

KeywordsPseudomonas aeruginosaProphage inductionBacteriophage infectionCystic fibrosisHost rangeType IV piliElectronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2180-12-216 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Michael A Brockhurst and Craig Winstanley contributed equally to this work.

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Author: ChloeEJames - JoanneLFothergill - HannahKalwij - AmandaJHall - JenniferCottell - MichaelABrockhurst - CraigWinstanley

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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