Multidrug-resistant community-acquired infections caused by the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa are increasingly reported in India and other locations globally. Since this organism is ubiquitous in the environment, samples such as sewage and wastewater are rich reservoirs of P. aeruginosa bacteriophages. In this study, we report the isolation and characterization of a novel P. aeruginosa N4-like lytic bacteriophage, vB_Pae_AM.P2 (AM.P2), from wastewater in Kerala, India. AM.P2 is a double-stranded DNA podovirus that efficiently lyses the model strain, PAO1, at a multiplicity of infection as low as 0.1 phage per bacterium and resistance frequency of 6.59 × 10-4 Synergy in bactericidal activity was observed between AM.P2 and subinhibitory concentrations of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin. Genome sequencing of AM.P2 revealed features similar to those of the N4-like P. aeruginosa phages LUZ7 and KPP21. As judged by two independent assay methods, spot tests and growth inhibition, AM.P2 successfully inhibited the growth of almost 30% of strains from a contemporary collection of multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa clinical isolates from South India. Thus, AM.P2 may represent an intriguing candidate for inclusion in bacteriophage cocktails developed for various applications, including water decontamination and clinical bacteriophage therapy.IMPORTANCE In India, multidrug resistance determinants are much more abundant in community-associated bacterial pathogens due to the improper treatment of domestic and industrial effluents. In particular, a high bacterial load of the opportunistic pathogen P. aeruginosa in sewage and water bodies in India is well documented. The isolation and characterization of bacteriophages that could target emerging P. aeruginosa strains, representing possible epicenters for community-acquired infections, could serve as a useful alternative tool for various applications, such as phage therapy and environmental treatment. Continuing to supplement the repertoire of broad-spectrum bacteriophages is an essential tool in confronting this problem.
Keywords: N4-like viruses; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; antibiotic resistance; bacteriophage therapy; bacteriophages; clinical isolates; community-acquired infection; phage therapy.
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