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Curr Microbiol. 2009 Feb;58(2):139-45. doi: 10.1007/s00284-008-9290-x. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

Phage therapy of coral white plague disease: properties of phage BA3.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology & Biotechnology, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel.


The bacteriophage BA3 multiplies in and lyses the coral pathogen Thalassomonas loyana. The complete genome of phage BA3 was sequenced; it contains 47 open reading frames with a 40.9% G + C content. Phage BA3 adsorbed to its starved host in seawater with a k = 1.0 x 10(-6) phage ml(-1) min(-1). Phage therapy of coral disease in aquarium experiments was successful when the phage was added at the same time as the pathogen or 1 day later, but failed to protect the coral when added 2 days after bacterial infection. When the phages were added 1 day after coral infection, the phage titer increased about 100-fold and remained present in the aquarium water throughout the 37-day experiment. At the end of the experiment, the concentration of phages associated with the corals was 2.5 +/- 0.5 x 10(4) per cm(2) of coral surface. Corals that were infected with the pathogen and treated with phage did not transmit the disease to healthy corals.

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