Escherichia coli-associated urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common bacterial infections in humans. UTIs are usually managed with antibiotic therapy, but over the years, antibiotic-resistant strains of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) have emerged. The formation of biofilms further complicates the treatment of these infections by making them resistant to killing by the host immune system as well as by antibiotics. This has encouraged research into therapy using bacteriophages (phages) as a supplement or substitute for antibiotics. In this study we characterized 253 UPEC in terms of their biofilm-forming capabilities, serotype, and antimicrobial resistance. Three phages were then isolated (vB_EcoP_ACG-C91, vB_EcoM_ACG-C40 and vB_EcoS_ACG-M12) which were able to lyse 80.5% of a subset (42) of the UPEC strains able to form biofilms. Correlation was established between phage sensitivity and specific serotypes of the UPEC strains. The phages' genome sequences were determined and resulted in classification of vB_EcoP_ACG-C91 as a SP6likevirus, vB_EcoM_ACG-C40 as a T4likevirus and vB_EcoS_ACG-M12 as T1likevirus. We assessed the ability of the three phages to eradicate the established biofilm of one of the UPEC strains used in the study. All phages significantly reduced the biofilm within 2-12 h of incubation.
Chibeu A, Lingohr EJ, Masson L, Manges A, Harel J, Ackermann HW, Kropinski AM, Boerlin P Are you the author?
Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, ON N1G 3W4, Canada.
Reference: Viruses. 2012 Apr;4(4):471-87