Protective and therapeutic application of the depolymerase derived from a novel KN1 genotype of Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteriophage in mice.


State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, No. 20 Dongda Street, Fengtai District, Beijing, 100071, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Klebsiella pneumoniae is one of the major Gram-negative bacterial pathogens causing hospital-acquired multidrug-resistant infections, and the antimicrobial treatment options are scarce. The lack of available antimicrobials has prompted the development of alternative strategies for the treatment of these infections. In this study, a K. pneumoniae bacteriophage (vB_KpnP_IME321) targeting a KN1 capsular type strain, Kp409, was isolated, characterized and sequenced. This bacteriophage has a latent period of 20 min and a burst size of approximately 410 pfu/cell. It contained 49 predicted open reading frames, of which ORF42 was identified as encoding the putative capsule depolymerase. The enzyme expressed and purified in the Escherichia coli BL21 system, namely Dp42, could depolymerize the capsular polysaccharide of Kp409 and form translucent halos on the plates. The phage-encoded depolymerase could increase the inhibitory effect of serum on the growth of bacteria in vitro. Pre-treated with Dp42 rescued 100% of mice following lethal Kp409 challenge, and administration of this enzyme after infection significantly increased survival rates of infected mice in the animal experiment. In conclusion, the phage-encoded depolymerase Dp42 represents a potential alternative strategy for controlling infections mediated by K. pneumoniae expressing the KN1 capsular polysaccharide.


Bacteriophage,Depolymerase,KN1 capsule type,Klebsiella pneumoniae,Therapeutic effects,

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