Effect of a lytic bacteriophage on rabbits experimentally infected with pathogenic Escherichia coli

J. Zhao, L. He, L. Pan, Y. Liu, H. Yao, G. Bao


Pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) is severely threatening the rabbit industry in China, and the concern over antibiotic-resistant bacteria has given rise to an urgent need for antibiotic alternatives. In this study, a member (ZRP1) of the Myoviridae family was isolated from rabbit faeces using a strain of rabbit atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (ZR1) as host. The one-step growth curve indicated that the latent period was around 25 to 30 min and the burst size was 144±31 plaque-forming unit/cell. The rate of phage-resistant mutation was 7×10–5±4×10–5. When the bacteriophage input at the multiplicity of infection (MOI) was 0.1, 1 or 10, the growth of host E. coli in broth was inhibited for 5 h. A single intravenous injection of ZRP1 at MOI 0.1, 1 or 10 significantly prolonged the survival time of rabbits which simultaneously received a lethal dose of ZR1.


atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli; bacteriophage; phage therapy; rabbit

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 Universitat Politècnica de València


Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)


e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011   https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs