Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses that infect bacteria. The emergence of resistant bacteria has been reported worldwide. The use of phages to treat bacterial infection or to reduce bacteria load has become a new area of interest. The viral colonization of rodents represents an important source for a specific biotope. The objective of this study is to characterize the effect of novel phages isolated from rodents (Mastomys) using clinical Enterobacteria strains. Three novel phages were isolated from the intestinal tract of rodents. The phages belong to Myoviridae family. By using three Random Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR), genomic characterization of the phages shows a high diversity that reveals several DNA bands. 3 virulent phages exhibited different patterns, indicating that the rodents’ phages are genetically unique and could be distinguished by typing-PCR. The virulence spectrum of the phages shows phages Mα3 and Mα7 have 50% (7/15) lytic activity on enteropathogenic and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli strains while phage Mα11 has 26.6% (4/15) lytic activity. These phages have no lytic activity on Salmonella strains. This study is the first to isolate novel phages from rodents with lytic activity. The candidate rodents’ phages (Mα3, Mα7, Mα11) can be used to control virulent E. coli in West Africa.
Keys words: Lytic phages, rodents, Escherichia coli strains, West Africa, enteropathogenic, enterohemorrhagic.
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