BACKGROUND: Colibacillosis is one of the main causes of economic loss in the poultry industry worldwide. Although antibiotics have been used to control this infection, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria poses a threat to animal and human health. Phage therapy has been reported as one of the potential alternative methods to control bacterial infections. However, efficient phage therapy is highly dependent on the characteristics of the phage isolated. In the present study the characteristics of a lytic phage, ØEC1, which was found to be effective against the causative agent of colibacillosis in chickens in a previous in vivo study, are reported.
RESULTS: Examination by transmission electron microscopy revealed that ØEC1 is a DNA phage belonging to the Podoviridae family. ØEC1 showed an optimum multiplicity of infection of 0.1-1. The latent period of ØEC1 was 25 min, with a burst size of 200 particles per infected cell. Under the experimental conditions the maximum adsorption rate for ØEC1 was 99.9% within 8 min. ØEC1 demonstrated an optimum phage lytic activity at pH 6-9 and 25–41 °C.
CONCLUSION: These characteristics can serve as a guideline for selection of effective candidates for phage therapy, in this case for collibacillosis control in chickens. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry