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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 147:97-109 (2021)  -  DOI:

Isolation, characterization and biocontrol efficacy of a T4-like phage virulent to multidrug-resistant Enterobacter hormaechei

Wei Lin1,2,#, Dengfeng Li1,#,*, Mingming Gao2, Weinan Qin1, Lihua Xu1, Lingting Pan1, Wencai Liu1, Hang Fan2, Zhiqiang Mi2, Yigang Tong2,3

1Zhejiang Key Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315832, Zhejiang, PR China
2State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing 100017, PR China
3Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering (BAIC-SM), College of Life Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, PR China
*Corresponding author:
#These two authors contributed equally to this work

ABSTRACT: Enterobacter hormaechei is an important emerging pathogen, often exhibiting resistance to multiple clinically important antibiotics. In this study, E. hormaechei was found, for the first time, to be lethal to fish. Bacteriophages are considered potential treatments for bacterial infections. The lytic phage vB_EhoM-IME523 (abbreviated ‘IME523’) infecting multidrug-resistant E. hormaechei was isolated from hospital sewage. IME523 exhibits T4-like morphology, including a prolate icosahedral head 110 ± 1.89 nm (mean ± SD) long and 82 ± 0.75 nm wide, and a contractile tail of ca. 110 ± 0.91 nm in length. The complete genome length of phage IME523 is 172763 bp, with a G + C content of 39.97%. The whole genome sequence of IME523 has a 93.10% average nucleotide identity (ANI) and a 53.3% in silico DNA-DNA hybridization (isDDH) value with the closest-related Enterobacter phage vB_EclM_CIP9 (‘CIP9’). ANI and isDDH values between IME523 and other phages were lower than 78 and 22%, respectively. IME523 and CIP9 formed a monophyletic branch in a phylogenetic tree based on the terminase large subunit, DNA polymerase protein and whole genome phylogenetic analysis. Results suggest that IME523 is a novel species in the subfamily Tevenvirinae and forms a novel genus together with CIP9. No IME523 open reading frame was found to be associated with virulence factors or antibiotic resistance genes. IME523 showed promising protection to zebrafish and brocade carp against E. hormaechei challenge.

KEY WORDS: Enterobacter hormaechei · Phage · vB_EhoM-IME523 · Fish

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Cite this article as: Lin W, Li D, Gao M, Qin W and others (2021) Isolation, characterization and biocontrol efficacy of a T4-like phage virulent to multidrug-resistant Enterobacter hormaechei. Dis Aquat Org 147:97-109.

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