Submitted to: American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/3/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Clostridium perfringens is a Gram-positive, spore-forming anaerobic bacterium that plays a significant role in human food-borne disease as well as non-food-borne human, animal, and poultry diseases. There has been a resurgent interest in the use of bacteriophages or their gene products to control bacterial agents. Consequently, poultry intestinal material, soil, sewage and poultry processing drainage water were screened for virulent bacteriophages in both the USA and Russian Federation that could lyse C. perfringens in spot assays. From the bacteriophage collections highly lytic viruses were isolated and the double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) genomes of the viruses were sequenced to completion. DNA sequencing of six bacteriophage genomes completed at PMSRU and four genomes in collaboration with Russian investigators resulted in identification of unique amidases as well as phage encoded proteins that potentially contain lysozyme and endopeptidase activities. Three recombinant bacteriophage lytic enzyme genes encoding putative amidases have been cloned, their proteins expressed as recombinants and isolated to homogeneity, then demonstrated to species-specifically lyse C. perfringens. No other bacteria beyond the genus were lysed by the recombinant bacteriophage proteins. Patent applications have been submitted as a result of the bacteriophage research. These bacteriophage lytic enzymes will have possibilities for use in agriculture and medical applications as potential replacements for current antibiotics that may have diminished activity.