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Efficacy of bacteriophage treatment against carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii in Galleria mellonella larvae and a mouse model of acute pneumonia

 Jongsoo Jeon  ;  Jong-Hwan Park  ;  Dongeun Yong 
 BMC MICROBIOLOGY, Vol.19(1) : 70, 2019 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Acinetobacter baumannii ; Bacteriophage ; Carbapenem ; Galleria mellonella ; Mouse acute pneumonia ; Myoviridae ; Phage therapy
BACKGROUND: Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen that causes serious nosocomial infection in intensive care units. In particular, carbapenem-resistant A. baumannii (CRAB) strains have been increasing in the past decade, and they have caused major medical problems worldwide. In this study, a novel A. baumannii lytic phage, the YMC 13/03/R2096 ABA BP (phage Βϕ-R2096), which specifically causes the lysis of CRAB strains, was characterized in detail in vitro and in silico, and the in vivo effectiveness of phage therapy was evaluated using Galleria mellonella and a mouse model of acute pneumonia.

RESULTS: The A. baumannii phage Βϕ-R2096 was isolated from sewage water using CRAB clinical strains selected from patients at a university hospital in South Korea. The complete genome of the phage Βϕ-R2096, which belongs to the Myoviridae family, was analyzed. Phage Βϕ-R2096 inhibited bacterial growth in a dose-dependent manner and exhibited high bacteriolytic activity at MOI = 10. In the evaluation of its therapeutic potential against CRAB clinical isolates using two in vivo models, phage Βϕ-R2096 increased the survival rates of both G. mellonella larvae (from 0 to 50% at 24 h) and mice (from 30% with MOI = 0.1 to 100% with MOI = 10 for 12 days) in post-infection of CRAB. In particular, phage Βϕ-R2096 strongly ameliorated histologic damage to infected lungs, with bacterial clearance in the lungs observed on day 3 postinfection in the mouse acute pneumonia model. Moreover, in vivo studies revealed no mortality or serious side effects in phage-treated groups.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study strongly suggest that phage Βϕ-R2096, a novel A. baumannii lytic phage, could be an alternative antibacterial agent to control CRAB infections. This study is the first report to compare in vivo evaluations (G. mellonella larvae and a mouse acute pneumonia model) of the therapeutic efficacy of a phage against CRAB infections.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Laboratory Medicine (진단검사의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Yong, Dong Eun(용동은) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1225-8477
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