Submitted to: Virology Journal
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/27/2006
Publication Date: 6/27/2006
Citation: Zhilenkov, E.L., Popova, V.M., Popov, D.V., Zavalsky, L.Y., Svetoch, E.A., Stern, N.J., Seal, B.S. 2006. The ability of flagellum-specific proteus vulgaris bacteriophage pv22 to interact with campylobacter jejuni flagella in culture. Virology Journal. 3:50-54. Interpretive Summary: Campylobacters are bacteria that normally inhabit chickens in their gastrointestinal tract and can cause a significant proportion of food-borne disease. The high colonization incidences of poultry by campylobacters and the resultant clinical infections in humans have prompted a number of investigations focused upon identifying and subsequently eliminating Campylobacter spp. from poultry. Reduction of Campylobacter spp. populations on chicken skin with bacteriophage has been attempted as an alternative control measure to antibiotics with varying degrees of success. During ongoing collaborative investigations between our laboratories, a collection of bacteriophages that attach to and/or infect C. jejuni were isolated in the Russian Federation to address the issue of utilizing bacteriophage for bacterial control. A bacteriophage (PV22) that productively infects Proteus vulgaris was isolated and this phage attaches to the flagella of C. jejuni inhibiting its movement in liquid cultures. Consequently, it may be possible to test phage PV22 as an antimicrobial agent to decrease C. jejuni colonization of the chicken intestine.
Technical Abstract: Research was initiated to examine Campylobacter jejuni-specific bacteriophage in the Russian Federation to develop alternative control measures for this pathogen. A C. jejuni flagellum-specific phage PV22 from Proteus vulgaris was identified in sewage drainage. This phage interacted with C. jejuni by attachment to flagella followed by translocation of the phage to the polar region of the bacterium up to the point of DNA injection. Electron microscopic examination revealed adsorption of PV22 on C. jejuni flagella after a five minute incubation of the phage and bacteria. A different phenomenon was observed after incubating the mix under the same conditions, but for twenty minutes or longer. Phage accumulated primarily on the surface of cells at sites where flagella originated. Interestingly, PV22 did not inject DNA into C. jejuni and PV22 did not produce lytic plaques on medium containing C. jejuni cells. The constant of velocity for PV22 adsorption on cells was 7X10-9 ml/min. It was demonstrated that a bacteriophage that productively infects P. vulgaris was able to bind C. jejuni and by a spot test that the growth of C. jejuni was reduced relative to control bacteria in the region of phage application. There may be two interesting applications of this effect. First, it may be possible to test phage PV22 as an antimicrobial agent to decrease C. jejuni colonization of the chicken intestine. Second, the phage could potentially be utilized for investigating biogenesis of C. jejuni flagella.