Helicobacter pylori inhabits the stomach mucosa and is a causative agent of stomach ulcer and cancer. In general, bacteriophages (phages) are strongly associated with bacterial evolution, including the development of pathogenicity. Several tailed phages have so far been reported in H. pylori. We have isolated an H. pylori phage, KHP30, and reported its genomic sequence. In this study, we examined the biological characteristics of phage KHP30. Phage KHP30 was found to be a spherical lipid-containing phage with a diameter of ca. 69 nm. Interestingly, it was stable from pH 2.5 to pH 10, suggesting that it is adapted to the highly acidic environment of the human stomach. Phage KHP30 multiplied on 63.6% of clinical H. pylori isolates. The latent period was ca. 140 min, shorter than the doubling time of H. pylori (ca. 180 min). The burst size was ca. 13, which was smaller than the burst sizes of other known tailed or spherical phages. Phage KHP30 seemed to be maintained as an episome in H. pylori strain NY43 cells, despite a predicted integrase gene in the KHP30 genomic sequence. Seven possible virion proteins of phage KHP30 were analyzed using N-terminal protein sequencing and mass spectrometry, and their genes were found to be located on its genomic DNA. The genomic organization of phage KHP30 differed from the genomic organizations in the known spherical phage families Corticoviridae and Tectiviridae. This evidence suggests that phage KHP30 is a new type of spherical phage that cannot be classified in any existing virus category.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology