Isolation and characterization of a novel podovirus which infects burkholderia pseudomallei
1 Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10700, Thailand
2 Faculty of Medical Technology, Rangsit University, Pathumthani 12000, Thailand
3 Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, Leicester Medical School, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 9HN, UK
Virology Journal 2011, 8:366 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-366Published: 26 July 2011
Burkholderia pseudomallei is a saprophytic soil bacterium and the etiological agent that causes melioidosis. It is naturally resistant to many antibiotics and therefore is difficult to treat. Bacteriophages may provide an alternative source of treatment. We have isolated and characterised the bacteriophage ΦBp-AMP1. The phage is a member of the Podoviridae family and has a genome size of ~ 45 Kb. Molecular data based on the gene which encodes for the phage tail tubular protein suggests that the phage is distinct from known phages but related to phages which infect B. thailandensis and Ralstonia spp. The phage ΦBp-AMP1 is the first B. pseudomallei podovirus to be isolated from the environment rather than being induced from a bacterial culture. It has a broad host range within B. pseudomallei and can infect all 11 strains that we tested it on but not related Burkholderia species. It is heat stable for 8 h at 50°C but not stable at 60°C. It may potentially be a useful tool to treat or diagnose B. pseudomallei infections as it can lyse several strains of clinical relevance.