Open Access Open Badges Research

A Shigella boydii bacteriophage which resembles Salmonella phage ViI

Hany Anany12*, Erika J Lingohr3, Andre Villegas3, Hans-Wolfgang Ackermann4, Yi-Min She5, Mansel W Griffiths1 and Andrew M Kropinski36

Author Affiliations

1 Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety, University of Guelph, ON; N1G 2W1, Canada

2 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Abbassia, Cairo, Egypt

3 Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses, Public Health Agency of Canada, Guelph, ON; N1G 3W4, Canada

4 Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Infectiology, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Quebec, QC; G1X 4C6, Canada

5 Centre for Vaccine Evaluation, Biologics and Genetic Therapies Directorate, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON; K1A 0K9, Canada

6 Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Guelph, ON; N1G 2W1, Canada

For all author emails, please log on.

Virology Journal 2011, 8:242  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-242

Published: 19 May 2011



Lytic bacteriophages have been applied successfully to control the growth of various foodborne pathogens. Sequencing of their genomes is considered as an important preliminary step to ensure their safety prior to food applications.


The lytic bacteriophage, ΦSboM-AG3, targets the important foodborne pathogen, Shigella. It is morphologically similar to phage ViI of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and a series of phages of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus and Rhizobium meliloti. The complete genome of ΦSboM-AG3 was determined to be 158 kb and was terminally redundant and circularly permuted. Two hundred and sixteen open reading frames (ORFs) were identified and annotated, most of which displayed homology to proteins of Salmonella phage ViI. The genome also included four genes specifying tRNAs.


This is the first time that a Vi-specific phage for Shigella has been described. There is no evidence for the presence of virulence and lysogeny-associated genes. In conclusion, the genome analysis of ΦSboM-AG3 indicates that this phage can be safely used for biocontrol purposes.