Combined use of bacteriophage K and a novel bacteriophage to reduce Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation

D R Alves, A Gaudion, J E Bean, P Perez Esteban, T C Arnot, D R Harper, W Kot, L H Hansen, M C Enright, A Tobias A Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biofilms are major causes of impairment of wound healing and patient morbidity. One of the most common and aggressive wound pathogens is Staphylococcus aureus, displaying a large repertoire of virulence factors and commonly reduced susceptibility to antibiotics, such as the spread of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Bacteriophages are obligate parasites of bacteria. They multiply intracellularly and lyse their bacterial host, releasing their progeny. We isolated a novel phage, DRA88, which has a broad host range among S. aureus bacteria. Morphologically, the phage belongs to the Myoviridae family and comprises a large double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) genome of 141,907 bp. DRA88 was mixed with phage K to produce a high-titer mixture that showed strong lytic activity against a wide range of S. aureus isolates, including representatives of the major international MRSA clones and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus. Its efficacy was assessed both in planktonic cultures and when treating established biofilms produced by three different biofilm-producing S. aureus isolates. A significant reduction of biofilm biomass over 48 h of treatment was recorded in all cases. The phage mixture may form the basis of an effective treatment for infections caused by S. aureus biofilms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6694-703
Number of pages10
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


  • Bacteriolysis
  • Biofilms
  • DNA, Viral
  • Host Specificity
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myoviridae
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Staphylococcus Phages
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Viral Load
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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