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Isolation of Bacteriophage and Assessment of its Activity against Biofilms of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli in Jimma Town, South Western Ethiopia

Israel Gudina, Zeleke Gizachew, Delelegn Woyessa, Tesfaye K Tefera


Escherichia coli is one of the most commonly associated bacteria with urinary tract infections (UTIs) in humans and many times are antimicrobial resistant. Production of biofilms further makes matters worse in UTIs. Alternative therapy using bacteriophages was known in the past. This study was aimed to isolate lytic bacteriophages from sewage samples and assess their activity against biofilm of uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC). Lytic phage was isolated from sewage water collected in Jimma town following standard enrichment method against UPEC. E. coli was isolated from UTI suspect patients using standard protocol. Microtiter plate technique was used to determine bacterial biofilm formation. Biofilm degrading efficacy of phage was assessed by treating biofilm developed on cover slip with standardized number of lytic phages or gentamicin compared with the control E. coli (untreated cells). Of 30 UPEC strains isolated from patients, 29 (96.6%) of them displayed biofilm forming phenotype. The strains with strongly biofilm positive were 76.6%. Generally, antibiotic resistance for biofilm producing E. coli was found to be high. Virulent phage (FJS4) was isolated which was effective against a strong biofilm former UPEC strain. Application of FJS4 phage or gentamicin to established biofilms have caused significant reduction of the cells within 3 hours of application and almost complete eradication of the cells within 36 hrs of incubation at 37°C. These results uphold the efficacy of phage against biofilm of UPEC and suggest that FJS4 phage may be a potential therapeutic alternative to antimicrobials on inanimate and animate surfaces.


Bacteriophage; Biofilm; Lytic Phage; Uropathogenic E. coli

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