A conserved acetyl esterase domain targets diverse bacteriophages to the Vi capsular receptor of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi

Derek Pickard, Ana Luisa Toribio, Nicola K. Petty, Andries van Tonder, Lu Yu, David Goulding, Bart Barrell, Richard Rance, David Harris, Michael Wetter, John Wain, Jyoti Choudhary, Nicholas Thomson, Gordon Dougan

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67 Citations (Scopus)


A number of bacteriophages have been identified that target the Vi capsular antigen of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. Here we show that these Vi phages represent a remarkably diverse set of phages belonging to three phage families, including Podoviridae and Myoviridae. Genome analysis facilitated the further classification of these phages and highlighted aspects of their independent evolution. Significantly, a conserved protein domain carrying an acetyl esterase was found to be associated with at least one tail fiber gene for all Vi phages, and the presence of this domain was confirmed in representative phage particles by mass spectrometric analysis. Thus, we provide a simple explanation and paradigm of how a diverse group of phages target a single key virulence antigen associated with this important human-restricted pathogen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5746-5754
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

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