The temperate Burkholderia phage AP3 of the Peduovirinae shows efficient antimicrobial activity against B. cenocepacia of the IIIA lineage

Bartosz Roszniowski, Agnieszka Latka, Barbara Maciejewska, Dieter Vandenheuvel, Tomasz Olszak, Yves Briers, Giles Holt, Miguel Valvano, Rob Lavigne, Darren Smith, Zuzanna Drulis-Kawa

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Burkholderia phage AP3 (vB_BceM_AP3) is a temperate virus of the Myoviridae and the Peduovirinae subfamily (P2likevirus genus). This phage specifically infects multidrug-resistant clinical Burkholderia cenocepacia lineage IIIA strains commonly isolated from cystic fibrosis patients. AP3 exhibits high pairwise nucleotide identity (61.7 %) to Burkholderia phage KS5, specific to the same B. cenocepacia host, and has 46.7–49.5 % identity to phages infecting other species of Burkholderia. The lysis cassette of these related phages has a similar organization (putative antiholin, putative holin, endolysin, and spanins) and shows 29–98 % homology between specific lysis genes, in contrast to Enterobacteria phage P2, the hallmark phage of this genus. The AP3 and KS5 lysis genes have conserved locations and high amino acid sequence similarity. The AP3 bacteriophage particles remain infective up to 5 h at pH 4–10 and are stable at 60 °C for 30 min, but are sensitive to chloroform, with no remaining infective particles after 24 h of treatment. AP3 lysogeny can occur by stable genomic integration and by pseudo-lysogeny. The lysogenic bacterial mutants did not exhibit any significant changes in virulence compared to wild-type host strain when tested in the Galleria mellonella moth wax model. Moreover, AP3 treatment of larvae infected with B. cenocepacia revealed a significant increase (P <0.0001) in larvae survival in comparison to AP3-untreated infected larvae. AP3 showed robust lytic activity, as evidenced by its broad host range, the absence of increased virulence in lysogenic isolates, the lack of bacterial gene disruption conditioned by bacterial tRNA downstream integration site, and the absence of detected toxin sequences. These data suggest that the AP3 phage is a promising potent agent against bacteria belonging to the most common B. cenocepacia IIIA lineage strains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1203-1216
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number3
Early online date21 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Oct 2016


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