Identification and characterisation of new Campylobacter group III phages of animal origin

FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2014 Oct;359(1):64-71. doi: 10.1111/1574-6968.12556. Epub 2014 Aug 28.


Campylobacter-specific bacteriophages (phages) are considered as an alternative intervention strategy to decrease the level of poultry contamination with Campylobacter, a leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide. Eradication efficiency depends primarily on phage-host interaction mediated by phage tail-spike proteins and bacterial receptors. Here, this interaction was characterised using tail-spike gene sequence analysis, phage neutralisation by antiserum and host range analysis of newly isolated group III Campylobacter phages with 68 Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli strains. Three different groups of phages were obtained using antibody neutralisation assay, and they were further divided according to polymorphisms observed within tail fibre sequences and host range. Only moderate congruence was observed between these criteria with notable exception of two phages. The infection relied on capsule in all phages isolated, and flagella were found to influence phage propagation on agar plates, but not in broth. Their specificity was more C. jejuni oriented with tendency to lyse human isolates more efficiently. Additionally, natural resistance of C. jejuni to phages did not correlate with their antibiotic resistance patterns. These findings provide new insights into Campylobacter-phage interaction.

Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; host specificity; phage characterisation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteriophages / classification*
  • Bacteriophages / genetics
  • Bacteriophages / isolation & purification*
  • Bacteriophages / physiology
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Campylobacter Infections / veterinary
  • Campylobacter coli / isolation & purification
  • Campylobacter coli / virology*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / isolation & purification
  • Campylobacter jejuni / virology*
  • Host Specificity
  • Neutralization Tests
  • Viral Tail Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Tail Proteins / immunology


  • Viral Tail Proteins
  • tailspike protein, bacteriophage