Modification of Escherichia coli-bacteriophage interactions by surfactants and antibiotics in vitro

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Scanlan, Pauline D.
Bischofberger, Anna M.
Hall, Alex R.
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Oxford University Press
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Although experiments indicate that the abiotic environment plays an important role in bacterial interactions with their parasitic viruses (bacteriophages or phages), it is not yet clear how exposure to compounds present in nature alters the impact of phages on bacterial growth and evolution. To address this question, we exposed Escherichia coli K12 MG1655, in combination with three lytic phages, to various substances that natural and clinical microbial populations are likely to encounter: bile salts (present in mammalian gastrointestinal tracts), sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS, a common surfactant in cleaning and hygiene products) and four antibiotics (present at variable concentrations in natural and clinical environments). Our results show that bile salts and SDS can reduce the detrimental effect of phages on bacterial growth. In some cases these compounds completely mitigated any negative effects of phages on bacterial growth and consequently bacteria did not evolve resistance to phages in these conditions. The proportional effects of phages were unaffected by antibiotics in most combinations, excepting three cases of phage-drug synergy. These results suggest that accounting for interactions between phages and environmental factors such as surfactants and antibiotics will improve understanding of both bacterial growth and resistance evolution to phages in vivo and in nature.
Bacteriophage , Antibiotics , Bile salts , Escherichia coli , Phage therapy , Genotype-by-environment interaction , Bacteriophages , Pulmonary surfactants , Bacteria , Escherichia coli , Chemical surfactants , Phage therapy , Pseudomonas-aeruginosa , Evolutionary dynamics , Resistance , Coevolution , Viruses , Bile , Fluorescens , Population , Mechanisms
Scanlan, P. D., Bischofberger, A. M. and Hall, A. R. (2017) 'Modification of Escherichia coli–bacteriophage interactions by surfactants and antibiotics in vitro', FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 93(1), fiw211 (9 pp). doi: 10.1093/femsec/fiw211
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