Lytic bacteriophages are hypothesized to contribute to the seasonality and duration of cholera epidemics in Bangladesh. However, the bacteriophages contributing to this phenomenon have yet to be characterized at a molecular genetic level. In this study, we isolated and sequenced the genomes of 15 bacteriophages from stool samples from cholera patients spanning a 10-year surveillance period in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Our results indicate that a single novel bacteriophage type, designated ICP1 (for the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh cholera phage 1) is present in all stool samples from cholera patients, while two other bacteriophage types, one novel (ICP2) and one T7-like (ICP3), are transient. ICP1 is a member of the Myoviridae family and has a 126-kilobase genome comprising 230 open reading frames. Comparative sequence analysis of ICP1 and related isolates from this time period indicates a high level of genetic conservation. The ubiquitous presence of ICP1 in cholera patients and the finding that the O1 antigen of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) serves as the ICP1 receptor suggest that ICP1 is extremely well adapted to predation of human-pathogenic V. cholerae O1.
Copyright © 2011 Seed et al.