Genomic Variants of Bacteriophages Against Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis With Potential Application in the Poultry Industry
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Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE) is a prevalent gastrointestinal pathogen worldwide, threatening both animal and human health. In the latter, disease is associated to the consumption of SE-contaminated products from the poultry industry. The control of SE infection is largely based on the use of antibiotics and vaccines, but the use of lytic bacteriophages is re-emerging as an additional strategy for SE control. In fact, a number of recent reports point to the adequacy of bacteriophage as an efficient prophylactic or therapeutic countermeasure to SE infections. However, less attention has been focused on the basic biology of these bacteriophages. Here we report on three bacteriophages (f18, IF1 and EST2) that share a common viral particle morphology but are genomic variants as judged by their EcoRI DNA restriction patterns. Furthermore, they differ in their lytic capability towards SE, being EST2 the most efficient. They show a very narrow host range, efficiently infecting only SE strains. In terms of stability in various suspension media, including distilled water, all three bacteriophages remained viable, without noticeable decay in titer for at least 15 days at 25ºC. These results suggest the suitability of the tested bacteriophages as SE-controlling agents in the poultry industry.