A study was made of several bacteriophages (including phages U2 and LB related to T-even phages of Escherichia coli) that grow both on E. coli K12 and on some Salmonella strains. Such phages were termed ambivalent. T-even ambivalent phages (U2 and LB) are rare and have a limited number of hosts among Salmonella strains. U2 and LB are similar to canonical E. coli-specific T-even phages in morphological type and size of the phage particle and in reaction with specific anti-T4 serum. Phages U2 and LB have identical sets of structural proteins, some of which are similar in size to structural proteins of phages T2 and T4. DNA restriction patterns of phages U2 and LB differ from each other and from those of T2 and T4. Still, DNAs of all four phages have considerable homology. Unexpectedly, phages U2 and LB grown on Salmonella bongori were unstable during centrifugation in a CsCl gradient. Ambivalent bacteriophages were found in species other than T-even phages and were similar in morphotype to lambdoid and other E. coli phages. One of the ambivalent phages was highly similar to well-known Felix01, which is specific for Salmonella. Ambivalent phages can be used to develop a new set for phage typing in Salmonella. An obvious advantage is that ambivalent phages can be reproduced in the E. coli K12 laboratory strain, which does not produce active temperature phages. Consequently, the resulting typing phage preparation is devoid of an admixture of temperate phages, which are common in Salmonella. The presence of temperate phages in phage-typing preparations may cause false-positive results in identifying specific Salmonella strains isolated from the environment or salmonellosis patients. Ambivalent phages are potentially useful for phage therapy and prevention of salmonellosis in humans and animals.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 15, 2006