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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Characterization of a ViI-like phage specific to Escherichia coli O157:H7

item Kutter, Elizabeth -
item Skutt-Kakaria, Kyobi -
item Blasdel, Bob -
item El-Shibiny, Ayman -
item Castano, Anna -
item Bryan, Daniel -
item Kropinski, Andrew -
item Villegas, Andre -
item Ackermann, Hans-Wolfgang -
item Toribio, Ana -
item Pickard, Derek -
item Anany, Hany -
item Callaway, Todd
item Brabban, Andrew -

Submitted to: Bacteriophage
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 7, 2011
Publication Date: September 29, 2011
Repository URL:
Citation: Kutter, E.M., Skutt-Kakaria, K., Blasdel, B., El-Shibiny, A., Castano, A., Bryan, D., Kropinski, A.M., Villegas, A., Ackermann, H., Toribio, A.L., Pickard, D., Anany, H., Callaway, T.R., Brabban, A.D. 2011. Characterization of a ViI-like phage specific to Escherichia coli O157:H7. Bacteriophage. 8:430-445.

Interpretive Summary: Phage are naturally occurring viruses that can kill foodborne pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli O157:H7. The physiology and genome of one of the most active phages against E. coli O156:H7 are described in this report. If this phage is to be used as a preharvest intervention strategy, then how it works and whether it can transfer genetic information must be well-understood.

Technical Abstract: Phage vB_EcoM_CBA120 (CBA120) isolated against Escherichia coli O157:H7 from a cattle feedlot is morphologically very similar to the classic phage ViI of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. Until recently, little was known genetically or physiologically about the ViI-like phages, and non targeting E. coli had been described in the literature. The genome of CBA120 has been fully sequenced and is highly similar to those of ViI and of Shigella phage AG3. The core set of structural and replication-related proteins of CBA120 are homologous to those from T-even phages but more closely related to those from T4-like phages of Vibrio, Aeromonas, and cyanobacteria than others of enterobacteria. The baseplate and method of adhesion to the host are, however, very different from those of either T4 or the cyanophages. None of the outer baseplate proteins are conserved. Instead of T4's long and short tail fibers, CBA120, like ViI, encodes tail spikes related to those normally seen on podoviruses. The 158 kb genome, like that of T4, is circularly permuted and terminally redundant, but unlike T4, CBA120 does not substitute HMdC for cytosine in its DNA. However, in contrast to other coliphages, CBA120 and related coliphages we have isolated cannot incorporate 3H-thymidine (3H-dThd) into their DNA. Protein sequence comparisons cluster the putative "thymidylate synthase" of CBA120, ViI, and AG3 much more closely with those of Delftia phage fW-14, Bacillus subtilis phage, SP01, and Pseudomonas phage YuA, all known to produce and incorporate hydroxymethyluracil (HMdU).

Last Modified: 7/24/2016