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Methods Mol Biol. 2007;394:177-211. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-512-1_10.

Salmonella typhimurium phage typing for pathogens.

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Robert-Koch Institut, Wernigerode Branch, National Reference Centre for Salmonellae and Other Enterics, Germany.


Phage typing provides a rapid, accurate, and cheap method of investigating Salmonella strains for epidemiological use. Salmonella strains within a particular serovar may be differentiated into a number of phage types by their pattern of susceptibility to lysis by a set of phages with different specificity. Characterization based on the pattern of phage lysis of wild strains isolated from different patients, carriers, or other sources is valuable in epidemiological study. The phages must have well-defined propagation strains that allow reproducible discrimination between different Salmonella Typhimurium strains. Different schemes have been developed for this serovar in different countries. The Felix/Callow (England) and Lilleengen typing systems (Sweden) used for laboratory-based epidemiological analysis were helpful for control of salmonellosis. More recently, the extended phage-typing system of Anderson (England) that distinguishes more than 300 definitive phage types (DTs) has been used worldwide in Europe, the United States, and Australia. The use of this method for decades show us that some phage types (DT204 in the 1970s and DT104 in the 1990s) have a broad host range and are distributed worldwide, other phage types such as DT2 or DT99 are frequently associated with disease in pigeons, indicative of a narrow host range.

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