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J Virol Methods. 2001 Apr;93(1-2):127-36.

Optimisation and standardisation of a method for detecting and enumerating bacteriophages infecting Bacteroides fragilis.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology. University of Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.


A method for the detection and enumeration of bacteriophages infecting Bacteroides fragilis has been standardised. The recommended host strain is RYC2056 (ATCC 700786) because of the relatively high counts (10(4)-10(5) PFU/100ml) that it recovers in sewage from very different geographical areas. The addition of 0.25% bile to the culture and assay media and the manipulation of the host strain under strict anaerobic conditions resulted in a significant increase (more than 100%) in the number of phages detected. No other changes in the media and culture conditions resulted in changes in the phage counts detected. However, these increases do not justify changing the culture conditions and media described, taking into consideration that bile renders the media cloudy making it difficult to follow the host growth and that most laboratories do not have the facilities to work under strict anaerobic conditions. Nalidixic acid (100 microg/ml) and kanamycin (100 microg/ml) in the assay medium significantly reduce the background flora from polluted samples without affecting the phage counts. Freezing cultures just before the end of the log-phage growth at (-70+/-10) degrees C with BSA-sucrose as cryoprotector, storing of 1-2 ml in glass vials at (-70+/-10) degrees C and using them directly to inoculate fresh broth allows the obtention of cultures ready for phage enumeration in about 2.5 h. All these developments have been incorporated into a procedure that makes the method for detecting phages infecting B. fragilis as workable as the standardised methods available for the detection of coliphages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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