Microbiology and Molecular Biology
First Faculty Advisor
First Faculty Reader
Klebsiella pneumoniae, bacteriophage, kaomega, Escherichia coli
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae that is a common nosocomial pathogen causing pneumonia, infections in the bloodstream, wound infections, and meningitis. It has developed natural resistance to multiple antibiotics, most notably carbapenems which are often seen as the last line of defense against multi-drug resistant pathogens. Bacteriophages are being investigated as a promising alternative treatment to antibiotics in fighting these resistant pathogens. KaOmega, a Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteriophage, was isolated, sequenced, and annotated to characterize and understand its potential for use in a phage therapy. Characterization included Phyre2 analysis to predict putative protein functions based on structural homology, burst size to understand infection rates, and host range on both clinical and antibiotic sensitive Enterobacteriaceae to determine the specificity and clinical relevancy of KaOmega. Comparative genomics revealed that KaOmega belongs in the rV5-like family with numerous phages with over 80 percent identity to KaOmega. It encodes for a possible Clostridium tetani neurotoxin based on Phyre2 results as well as two arthropod antifreeze proteins. Both of these implicate horizontal gene transfer along with numerous other proteins included in both KaOmega and its host bacterium. KaOmega only infected Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae in host range studies. It infected 33 percent of the carbapenem-resistant E. coli strains selected for their diverse serotypes and 50 percent of the CRE K. pneumoniae strains differentiated based on MLST sequence types. The narrow host range and clinical pathogen lysis rates are pertinent indicators of KaOmega’s clinical relevancy.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Carr, Emilee, "Qualitative Proteomic and Genomic Analysis of Klebsiella pneumoniae Bacteriophage KaOmega" (2022). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 259.