Efficacy of bacteriophage treatment in murine burn wound infection induced by klebsiella pneumoniae

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009 Jun;19(6):622-8. doi: 10.4014/jmb.0808.493.


In the present study, the therapeutic potential of purified and well-characterized bacteriophages was evaluated in thermally injured mice infected with Klebsiella pneumoniae B5055. The efficacy of five Klebsiella phages (Kpn5, Kpn12, Kpn13, Kpn17, and Kpn22) was evaluated on the basis of survival rate, decrease in bacterial counts in different organs of phage-treated animals, and regeneration of skin cells as observed by histopathological examination of phage-treated skin. Toxicity studies performed with all the phages showed them to be non-toxic, as no signs of morbidity and mortality were observed in phage-treated mice. The results of the study indicate that a single dose of phages, intraperitoneally (i.p.) at an MOI of 1.0, resulted in significant decrease in mortality, and this dose was found to be sufficient to completely cure K. pneumoniae infection in the burn wound model. Maximum decrease in bacterial counts in different organs was observed at 72 h post infection. Histopathological examination of skin of phage-treated mice showed complete recovery of burn infection. Kpn5 phage was found to be highly effective among all the phages and equally effective when compared with a cocktail of all the phages. From these results, it can be concluded that phase therapy may have the potential to be used as stand-alone therapy for K.pneumoniae induces burn wound infection, especially in situations where multiple antibiotic-resistant organisms are encountered.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteriophages / isolation & purification
  • Bacteriophages / metabolism*
  • Biological Therapy / adverse effects
  • Biological Therapy / methods*
  • Burns / microbiology*
  • Burns / pathology
  • Burns / therapy
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Klebsiella Infections / metabolism
  • Klebsiella Infections / virology*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / metabolism
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / virology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Skin / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Infection / microbiology
  • Wound Infection / pathology
  • Wound Infection / therapy*