Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), the causative agent of Johne’s disease, has a doubling time of 24 hours, making rapid detection very difficult. Mycobacteriophages can be used in the detection of disease-causing mycobacteria such as MAP. Isolation and sequencing the genomes of lytic MAP bacteriophages are important preliminary steps towards designing phage-based rapid detection assays for this bacterium. A simple optimized protocol was developed to allow reproducible production of confluent growth of MAP on plates within four to six weeks of incubation at 30 °C. This protocol was applied to the screening of environmental and fecal samples for bacteriophages inhibiting the growth of MAP. As a result, a lytic phage, vB_MapS_FF47, was isolated from bovine feces. FF47 contains a double-stranded DNA genome ~48 kb in length with 73 protein coding sequences. It does not carry temperate or known virulence genes. This phage was shown to be most closely related to Mycobacterium phage Muddy, isolated in South Africa, and Gordonia phage GTE2; however, it could not infect any of the tested Gordonia , Rhodococcus , or Nocardia spp. that GTE2 could. The protocols that were developed for growth and phage isolation have potential applications in a high-throughput screening for compounds inhibiting the growth of MAP. This work describes the first time that a phage was isolated against M. paratuberculosis .
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 2014
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