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BackgroundBurkholderia pseudomallei is a tropical pathogen that causes melioidosis. Its intrinsic drug-resistance is a leading cause of treatment failure, and the few available antibiotics require prolonged use to be effective. This study aimed to assess the clinical potential of B. pseudomallei phages isolated from Hainan, China.MethodsBurkholderia pseudomallei strain (HNBP001) was used as the isolation host, and phages were recovered from domestic environmental sources, which were submitted to the host range determination, lytic property assays, and stability tests. The best candidate was examined via the transmission electron microscope for classification. With its genome sequenced and analyzed, its protective efficacy against B. pseudomallei infection in A549 cells and Caenorhabditis elegans was evaluated, in which cell viability and survival rates were compared using the one-way ANOVA method and the log-rank test.ResultsA phage able to lyse 24/25 clinical isolates was recovered. It was classified in the Podoviridae family and was found to be amenable to propagation. Under the optimal multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0.1, an eclipse period of around 20 min and a high titer (1012 PFU/ml) produced within 1 h were demonstrated. This phage was found stabile at a wide range of temperatures (24, 37, 40, 50, and 60 °C) and pH values (3-12). After being designated as vB_BpP_HN01, it was fully sequenced, and the 71,398 bp linear genome, containing 93 open reading frames and a tRNA-Asn, displayed a low sequence similarity with known viruses. Additionally, protective effects of applications of vB_BpP_HN01 (MOI = 0.1 and MOI = 1) alone or in combination with antibiotics were found to improve viability of infected cells (70.6 ± 6.8%, 85.8 ± 5.7%, 91.9 ± 1.8%, and 96.8 ± 1.8%, respectively). A significantly reduced mortality (10%) and a decreased pathogen load were demonstrated in infected C. elegans following the addition of this phage.ConclusionsAs the first B. pseudomallei phage was isolated in Hainan, China, phage vB_BpP_HN01 was characterized by promising lytic property, stability, and efficiency of bacterial elimination during the in vitro/vivo experiments. Therefore, we can conclude that it is a potential alternative agent for combating melioidosis.

Original publication





Infectious diseases of poverty

Publication Date





Key Laboratory of Tropical Translational Medicine of Ministry of Education, NHC Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Control, School of Tropical Medicine and The Second Affiliated Hospital, Hainan Medical University, Haikou, Hainan, China.