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In vitro and in vivo antibacterial activity of environmental bacteriophages against Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from cystic fibrosis patients

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Anthony De SoyzaORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The goal of the study was to determine the relationship between in vitro/in vivo efficacy of environmental Pseudomonas phages and certain phenotypical properties of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) strains. We studied the diversity between particular isolates and determined phage sensitivity in vitro and in vivo in the Galleria mellonella insect model. Twenty-eight lytic bacteriophages specific for PA were tested against 121 CF PA isolates including 29 mucoid PA strains. Most strains from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients were lysed by at least three phages (93.6 %), but completely insensitive strains were also present (6.4 %). Two phages PA5oct and KT28 exhibited high rates of lytic potency on 55-68 % of PA strains (72-86 % of mucoid isolates). We further explored phage activity against six PA strains (CF and non-CF) in vitro, comparing clonal differences in phage susceptibility with bacterial properties such as the ability to form biofilms, mucosity, twitching motility, and biochemical profiles. We observed the relationship between variation in phage susceptibility and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis in the spectra window of carbohydrates. The protective efficacy of two selected phages against PA PAO1 and 0038 infection was confirmed in vivo in G. mellonella larvae. Generally, the wax moth model results confirmed the data from in vitro assays, but in massive infection of CF isolates, the application of lytic phages probably led to the release of toxic compound causing an increase in larvae mortality. We assumed that apart of in vitro phage activity testing, a simple and convenient wax moth larvae model should be applied for the evaluation of in vivo effectiveness of particular phage preparations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Olszak T, Zarnowiec P, Kaca W, Danis-Wlodarczyk K, Augustyniak D, Drevinek P, de Soyza A, McClean S, Drulis-Kawa Z

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

Year: 2015

Volume: 99

Issue: 14

Pages: 6021-6033

Print publication date: 01/07/2015

Online publication date: 12/03/2015

Acceptance date: 14/02/2015

Date deposited: 18/08/2015

ISSN (print): 0175-7598

ISSN (electronic): 1432-0614

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00253-015-6492-6


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Funder referenceFunder name
European Union part of the European Social Fund
2012/04/M/NZ6/00335National Science Centre