ABSTRACT The human gastrointestinal mucosal surface consists of a eukaryotic epithelium, a prokaryotic microbiota, and a carbohydrate-rich interface that separates them. In the gastrointestinal tract, the interaction of bacteriophages (phages) and their prokaryotic hosts influences the health of the mammalian host, especially colonization with invasive pathobionts. Antibiotics may be used, but they also kill protective commensals. Here, we report a novel phage whose lytic cycle is enhanced in intestinal environments. The tail fiber gene, whose protein product binds human heparan sulfated proteoglycans and localizes the phage to the epithelial cell surface, positions it near its bacterial host, a type of locational targeting mechanism. This finding offers the prospect of developing mucosal targeting phage to selectively remove invasive pathobiont species from mucosal surfaces.



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Citation: Sabrina I. GreenCarmen Gu LiuXue YuShelley GibsonWilhem SalmenAnubama RajanHannah E. CarterJustin R. ClarkXuezheng SongRobert F. RamigBarbara W. TrautnerHeidi B. KaplanAnthony W. Maresso