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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2000 Aug;28(4):307-12.

Sensitivity of the Burkholderia cepacia complex and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to transducing bacteriophages.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, The University of Edinburgh, UK.


Burkholderia cepacia is now recognised as a life-threatening pathogen among several groups of immunocompromised patients. In this context, the proposed large-scale use of these bacteria in agriculture has increased the need for a better understanding of the genetics of the species forming the B. cepacia complex. Until now, little information has been available on the bacteriophages of the B. cepacia complex. Transducing phages, named NS1 and NS2, were derived from the lysogenic B. cepacia strains ATCC 29424 and ATCC 17616. The frequency of transduction per phage particle ranged from 1.0x10(-8) to 7.0x10(-6) depending on the phage and recipient strain used. The host range of NS1 and NS2 differed but in each case included environmental and clinical isolates, and strains belonging to several species and genomovars of the B. cepacia complex. The host range of both phages also included Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Some B. cepacia complex isolates were sensitive to the well-characterised P. aeruginosa transducing phages, B3, F116L and G101. The lytic activity of NS1 and NS2 was inhibited by B. cepacia lipopolysaccharide suggesting that this moiety is a binding site for both phages. The molecular size of the NS1 and NS2 genomes was approximately 48 kb.

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