Mycobacteriophage 15 infection of Mycobacterium bovis BCG: Implications for phage genetics in the slow-growing mycobacteria

Karla Jean Fullner, Graham F. Hatfull*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mycobacteriophage L5 is a well-characterized temperate phage that forms stable lysogens in Mycobacterium smegmatis. The host range of L5 is, however, unclear because previous reports suggested that it does not infect stow-growing mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG). Moreover, luciferase reporter phage derivatives of L5 failed to produce light from BCG, suggesting that infection is blocked at or before the stage of DNA injection. In this study, we demonstrate that L5 infection of slow growing mycobacteria specifically requires a high concentration of Ca2+, conditions that differs from those required for infection of M. smegmatis by L5 and for infection of BCG by the closely related phage D29. In addition, we show that there are specific genetic determinants of L5 that confer the ability to infect slow growing mycobacteria, without altering infection of M. smegmatis. These observations extend the use of phage L5 for the diagnosis and analysis of tuberculosis and other mycobacterial diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-766
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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