Viruses, Vol. 13, Pages 1964: Novel Virulent Bacteriophage ØSG005, Which Infects Streptococcus gordonii, Forms a Distinct Clade among Streptococcus Viruses
Viruses doi: 10.3390/v13101964
Bacteriophages are viruses that specifically infect bacteria and are classified as either virulent phages or temperate phages. Despite virulent phages being promising antimicrobial agents due to their bactericidal effects, the implementation of phage therapy depends on the availability of virulent phages against target bacteria. Notably, virulent phages of Streptococcus gordonii, which resides in the oral cavity and is an opportunistic pathogen that can cause periodontitis and endocarditis have previously never been found. We thus attempted to isolate virulent phages against S. gordonii. In the present study, we report for the first time a virulent bacteriophage against S. gordonii, ØSG005, discovered from drainage water. ØSG005 is composed of a short, non-contractile tail and a long head, revealing Podoviridae characteristics via electron microscopic analysis. In turbidity reduction assays, ØSG005 showed efficient bactericidal effects on S. gordonii. Whole-genome sequencing showed that the virus has a DNA genome of 16,127 bp with 21 coding sequences. We identified no prophage-related elements such as integrase in the ØSG005 genome, demonstrating that the virus is a virulent phage. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that ØSG005 forms a distinct clade among the streptococcus viruses and is positioned next to streptococcus virus C1. Molecular characterization revealed the presence of an anti-CRISPR (Acr) IIA5-like protein in the ØSG005 genome. These findings facilitate our understanding of streptococcus viruses and advance the development of phage therapy against S. gordonii infection.
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