Diversity of lytic bacteriophages against XDR Klebsiella pneumoniae sequence type 16 recovered from sewage samples in different parts of the world

Willames M.B.S. Martins*, Juliana Cino, Michael H. Lenzi, Kirsty Sands, Edward Portal, Brekhna Hassan, Priscila P. Dantas, Roberta Migliavacca, Eduardo A. Medeiros, Ana C. Gales, Mark A. Toleman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses considered to be natural bacterial predators and widely detected in aquatic environments. Sewage samples are an important source of phage isolation since high density and diversity of bacterial cells are present, due to human, animal and household fluids. This study aims to investigate and characterise phages against an extremely drug-resistant (XDR) lineage, Klebsiella pneumoniae ST16, using sewage samples from different parts of the World. Sewage samples from Brazil, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the United Kingdom were collected and used to investigate phages against ten K. pneumoniae ST16 (hosts) recovered from infection sites. The phages were microbiological and genetically characterised by double-agar overlay (DLA), transmission electron microscopy and Illumina WGS. The host range against K. pneumoniae belonging to different sequence types was evaluated at different temperatures by spot test. Further phage characterisation, such as efficiency of plating, optimal phage temperature, and pH/temperature susceptibility, were conducted. Fourteen lytic phages were isolated, belonging to Autographiviridae, Ackermannviridae, Demerecviridae, Drexlerviridae, and Myoviridae families, from Brazil, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Thailand and demonstrated a great genetic diversity. The viruses had good activity against our collection of clinical K. pneumoniae ST16 at room temperature and 37 °C, but also against other important Klebsiella clones such as ST11, ST15, and ST258. Temperature assays showed lytic activity in different temperatures, except for PWKp18 which only had activity at room temperature. Phages were stable between pH 5 and 10 with minor changes in phage activity, and 70 °C was the temperature able to kill all phages in this study. Using sewage from different parts of the World allowed us to have a set of highly efficient phages against an K. pneumoniae ST16 that can be used in the future to develop new tools to combat infections in humans or animals caused by this pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156074
JournalScience of the Total Environment, The
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes

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  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Enterobacterales
  • Environment
  • Viruses
  • bacteria


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