Molecular genetic characterization of three new Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteriophages suitable for phage therapy
The Klebsiella pneumoniae bacterium is capable of causing the broad range of human nosocomial infections associated with antibiotic resistance and high mortality. Virulent bacteriophage therapy is one of the promising alternatives to antibiotic treatment of such infections. The study was aimed to isolate virulent bacteriophages effective against the relevant clinical K. pneumoniae strains, and to perform the molecular genetic characterization of these phages. Bacteriophages were isolated from the river water samples using the enrichment method. The whole-genome sequencing was performed on the MiSeq platform (Illumina). Three novel K. pneumoniae bacteriophages belonging to families Autographiviridae (vB_KpnP_NER40, GenBank MZ602146) and Myoviridae (vB_KpnM_VIK251, GenBank MZ602147; vB_KpnM_FRZ284, GenBank MZ602148) have been isolated and characterized. On the collection of 105 K. pneumoniae clinical strains, it has been found that bacteriophages vB_KpnP_NER40 and vB_KpnM_VIK251 have a narrow lytic spectrum (22% and 11%), which is limited to strains of the capsular types К2 and К20 respectively. In contrast, bacteriophage vB_KpnM_FRZ284 has a broad lytic spectrum (37%), causing the lysis of strains with different types of capsular polysaccharide. The phages are strictly virulent and have no genes encoding integrases, toxins or pathogenicity factors in their genomes. Genes of depolymerases, encoding the potential receptor binding proteins, have been found in the genomes of the capsular-specific bacteriophages vB_KpnP_NER40 and vB_KpnM_VIK251. The cocktail of three bacteriophages has lysed about 65% of the studied collection of K. рneumoniae strain and is potentially applicable for therapeutic purposes.