Characterization of induced Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage SAP-26 and its anti-biofilm activity with rifampicin

Lytic bacteriophages (phages) have been investigated as treatments for bacterial infectious diseases. An induced phage, SAP-26, was isolated from a clinical isolate of Staphylococcus aureus. It belongs to the family Siphoviridae and its genome consists of double-stranded 41,207 bp DNA coding for 63 open reading frames. The phage SAP-26 showed a wide spectrum of lytic activity against both methicillin-resistant S. aureus and methicillin-susceptible S.aureus. Furthermore, combined treatment with a phage and antimicrobial agents showed a strong biofilm removal effect which induced structural changes in the biofilm matrix and a substantial decrease in the number of bacteria. Such a broad host range in S. aureus and biofilm removal activity of the phage SAP-26 suggests the possibility of its use as a therapeutic phage in combination with appropriate antimicrobial agent(s). Among the three antimicrobial agents combined with phage, the combination of rifampicin showed the best biofilm removal effect. To the authors' knowledge, this study showed for the first time that S. aureus biofilm could be efficiently eradicated with the mixture of phage and an antimicrobial agent, especially rifampicin.

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