New Rapid and Simple Methods for Detection of Bacteria and Determination of Their Antibiotic Susceptibility by Using Phage Mutants
AbstractNew Rapid and Simple Methods for Detection of Bacteria and Determination of Their Antibiotic Susceptibility by Using Phage Mutants ▿ Nirit Ulitzur 1 and Shimon Ulitzur 2 , * 1 CheckLight Ltd., Qiryat Tiv'on 36000, Israel 2 Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, The Technion Institute, Haifa 32000, Israel ABSTRACT Three new methods applying a novel approach for rapid and simple detection of specific bacteria, based on plaque formation as the end point of the phage lytic cycle, are described. Different procedures were designed to ensure that the resulting plaques were derived only from infected target bacteria (“infectious centers”). (i) A pair of amber mutants that cannot form plaques at concentrations lower than their reversion rate underwent complementation in the tested bacteria; the number of plaques formed was proportional to the concentration of the bacteria that were coinfected by these phage mutants. (ii) UV-irradiated phages were recovered by photoreactivation and/or SOS repair mediated by target bacteria and plated on a recA uvrA bacterial lawn in the dark to avoid recovery of noninfecting phages. (iii) Pairs of temperature-sensitive mutants were allowed to coinfect their target bacteria at the permissive temperature, followed by incubation of the plates at the restrictive temperature to avoid phage infection of the host cells. This method allowed the omission of centrifuging and washing the infected cells. Only phages that recovered by recombination or complementation were able to form plaques. The detection limit was 1 to 10 living Salmonella or Escherichia coli O157 cells after 3 to 5 h. The antibiotic susceptibility of the target bacteria could also be determined in each of these procedures by preincubating the target bacteria with antibiotic prior to phage infection. Bacteria sensitive to the antibiotic lost the ability to form infectious centers.