Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 5829–5838 | Cite as

Isolation and characterization of a virulent bacteriophage SPW specific for Staphylococcus aureus isolated from bovine mastitis of lactating dairy cattle

  • Longping Li
  • Zhiying Zhang


Mastitis in dairy cattle continues to be an economically important disease. However, control is complicated by a high prevalence of resistance to antibiotics. Phage therapy, therefore, is considered as an alternative way of controlling bacterial infections and contaminations. In this study, we have described isolation and characterization of a highly virulent phage SPW from wastewater of dairy farm, which possesses a strong lytic capability against mastitis-associated Staphylococcus aureus, the most important pathogen in bovine clinical and subclinical mastitis. The phage SPW produced large, round and clear plaques on bacterial culture plates. TEM showed phage SPW has an icosahedral head 62.5 nm in diameter and long tail of 106 nm, head and tail were held together by a connector of 18 ± 1.5 nm long and can be classified as a member of the Myoviridae family. Restriction analysis indicated that phage SPW was a dsDNA virus with an approximate genome size of 65–69 kb. One-step growth kinetics showed a short latency period of about 10–15 min and a rise period of 50 min and a relatively small burst size was 44 ± 3 phages particles/infected cell. Moreover, adsorption rates were not influenced by calcium ions and phage SPW was relatively stable in a wide range of temperature and pH values, and resistant to chloroform and isopropanol. The optimal multiplicity of infection (MOI) was 0.01. When phage SPW was used to infect five other clinically isolated pathogenic isolates, it showed relatively wide spectrum host range. Phage SPW was capable of eliciting efficient lysis of S. aureus, revealing it potentially as an effective approach to prophylaxis or treatment of S. aureus-associated mastitis in dairy cows.


Staphylococcus aureus Bovine mastitis Bacteriophage Characterization 



This study was supported by a grant from Shaanxi “13115” S&T Innovation Engineering Program (No. 2009ZDKG-18). We would like to thank Cheng Mingxia at College of Medicine, Xi’an Jiaotong University for the TEM study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for AgricultureCollege of Animal Science & Technology, Northwest A&F UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China

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