Browsing by Subject "LIPOPOLYSACCHARIDE"

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  • Malhotra, Rajneesh; Kurian, Nisha; Zhou, Xiao-Hong; Jiang, Fanyi; Monkley, Susan; DeMicco, Amy; Clausen, Ib G.; Dellgren, Göran; Edenro, Goran; Ahdesmaki, Miika J.; Clausen, Maryam; Oberg, Lisa; Israelsson, Elisabeth; Belfield, Graham; Vaarala, Outi (2017)
    Background BET proteins (BRD2, BRD3, BRDT and BRD4) belong to the family of bromodomain containing proteins, which form a class of transcriptional co-regulators. BET proteins bind to acetylated lysine residues in the histones of nucleosomal chromatin and function either as co-activators or co-repressors of gene expression. An imbalance between HAT and HDAC activities resulting in hyperacetylation of histones has been identified in COPD. We hypothesized that pan-BET inhibitor (JQ1) treatment of BET protein interactions with hyperacety-lated sites in the chromatin will regulate excessive activation of pro-inflammatory genes in key inflammatory drivers of alveolar macrophages (AM) in COPD. Methods and findings Transcriptome analysis of AM from COPD patients indicated up-regulation of macrophage M1 type genes upon LPS stimulation. Pan-BET inhibitor JQ1 treatment attenuated expression of multiple genes, including pro-inflammatory cytokines and regulators of innate and adaptive immune cells. We demonstrated for the first time that JQ1 differentially modulated LPS-induced cytokine release from AM or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of COPD patients compared to PBMC of healthy controls. Using the BET regulated gene signature, we identified a subset of COPD patients, which we propose to benefit from BET inhibition. Conclusions This work demonstrates that the effects of pan-BET inhibition through JQ1 treatment of inflammatory cells differs between COPD patients and healthy controls, and the expression of BET protein regulated genes is altered in COPD. These findings provide evidence of histone hyperacetylation as a mechanism driving chronic inflammatory changes in COPD.
  • Lankelma, Jacqueline M.; Belzer, Clara; Hoogendijk, Arie J.; de Vos, Alex F.; de Vos, Willem M.; van der Poll, Tom; Wiersinga, W. Joost (2016)
    OBJECTIVES: Broad-spectrum antibiotics disrupt the intestinal microbiota. The microbiota is essential for physiological processes, such as the development of the gut immune system. Recent murine data suggest that the intestinal microbiota also modulates systemic innate immune responses; however, evidence in humans is lacking. METHODS: Twelve healthy young men were given oral broad-spectrum antibiotics (ciprofloxacin 500 mg bid, vancomycin 500 mg tid and metronidazole 500 mg tid) for 7 days. At baseline, 1 day, and 6 weeks after antibiotics, blood and feces were sampled. Whole blood and isolated mononuclear cells were stimulated with selected Toll-like receptor agonists and heat-killed bacteria. Microbiota diversity and composition was determined using bacterial 16S rDNA sequencing. RESULTS: One day after the antibiotic course, microbial diversity was significantly lower compared with baseline. After antibiotic therapy, systemic mononuclear cells produced lower levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha after ex vivo stimulation with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). This diminished capacity to produce TNF-alpha was restored 6 weeks after cessation of antibiotic therapy. In whole blood, a reduced capacity to release interleukin (IL)-1 beta and IL-6 was observed after LPS stimulation. Antibiotic treatment did not impact on differential leukocyte counts, phagocytosis, and cell surface markers of neutrophils and monocytes. CONCLUSIONS: In this proof-of-principle study of healthy subjects, microbiota disruption by broad-spectrum antibiotics is reversibly associated with decreased systemic cellular responsiveness towards LPS. The implications of these findings in a clinical setting remain to be determined.
  • Skurnik, Mikael; Jaakkola, Salla; Mattinen, Laura; von Ossowski, Lotta; Nawaz, Ayesha; Pajunen, Maria; Happonen, Lotta J. (2021)
    Bacteriophages vB_YpeM_fEV-1 (fEV-1) and vB_YpeM_fD1 (fD1) were isolated from incoming sewage water samples in Turku, Finland, using Yersinia pestis strains EV76 and KIM D27 as enrichment hosts, respectively. Genomic analysis and transmission electron microscopy established that fEV-1 is a novel type of dwarf myovirus, while fD1 is a T4-like myovirus. The genome sizes are 38 and 167 kb, respectively. To date, the morphology and genome sequences of some dwarf myoviruses have been described; however, a proteome characterization such as the one presented here, has currently been lacking for this group of viruses. Notably, fEV-1 is the first dwarf myovirus described for Y. pestis. The host range of fEV-1 was restricted strictly to Y. pestis strains, while that of fD1 also included other members of Enterobacterales such as Escherichia coli and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. In this study, we present the life cycles, genomes, and proteomes of two Yersinia myoviruses, fEV-1 and fD1.
  • Happonen, Lotta J.; Pajunen, Maria I.; Jun, Jin Woo; Skurnik, Mikael (2021)
    Yersinia enterocolitica is a food-borne Gram-negative pathogen responsible for several gastrointestinal disorders. Host-specific lytic bacteriophages have been increasingly used recently as an alternative or complementary treatment to combat bacterial infections, especially when antibiotics fail. Here, we describe the proteogenomic characterization and host receptor identification of the siphovirus vB_YenS_phi R2-01 (in short, phi R2-01) that infects strains of several Yersinia enterocolitica serotypes. The phi R2-01 genome contains 154 predicted genes, 117 of which encode products that are homologous to those of Escherichia bacteriophage T5. The phi R2-01 and T5 genomes are largely syntenic, with the major differences residing in areas encoding hypothetical phi R2-01 proteins. Label-free mass-spectrometry-based proteomics confirmed the expression of 90 of the phi R2-01 genes, with 88 of these being either phage particle structural or phage-particle-associated proteins. In vitro transposon-based host mutagenesis and phi R2-01 adsorption experiments identified the outer membrane vitamin B12 receptor BtuB as the host receptor. This study provides a proteogenomic characterization of a T5-type bacteriophage and identifies specific Y. enterocolitica strains sensitive to infection with possible future applications of phi R2-01 as a food biocontrol or phage therapy agent.
  • Lassenius, Mariann I.; Ahola, Aila J.; Harjutsalo, Valma; Forsblom, Carol; Groop, Per-Henrik; Lehto, Markku (2016)
    Bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS), potent inducers of inflammation, have been associated with chronic metabolic disturbances. Obesity is linked to dyslipidemia, increased body adiposity, and endotoxemia. We investigated the cross-sectional relationships between serum LPS activity and body adiposity as well as inflammation in 242 subjects with type 1 diabetes. Body fat distribution was measured by DXA and serum LPS activity by the limulus amebocyte lysate end-point assay. Since no interaction between visceral fat mass and sex was observed, data were pooled for the subsequent analyses. LPS was independently associated with visceral fat mass, when adjusted for traditional risk factors (age, sex, kidney status, hsCRP, insulin sensitivity). In the multivariate analysis, serum LPS activity and triglyceride concentrations had a joint effect on visceral fat mass, independent of these factors alone. A combination of high LPS and high hsCRP concentrations was also observed in those with the largest visceral fat mass. In conclusion, high serum LPS activity levels were associated with visceral fat mass in subjects with type 1 diabetes strengthening its role in the development of central obesity, inflammation and insulin resistance.
  • Salem, Mabruka; Skurnik, Mikael (2018)
    Yersinia enterocolitica causes enteric infections in humans and animals. Human infections are often caused by contaminated pork meat. Y. enterocolitica colonizes pig tonsils and pigs secrete both the human pathogen and its specific bacteriophages into the stools. In this work, sixteen Y. enterocolitica-infecting lytic bacteriophages isolated from pig stools originating from several pig farms were characterized. All phages belong to the Podoviridae family and their genomes range between 38,391-40,451 bp in size. The overall genome organization of all the phages resembled that of T7-like phages, having 3-6 host RNA polymerase (RNAP)-specific promoters at the beginning of the genomes and 11-13 phage RNAP-specific promoters as well as 3-5 rho-independent terminators, scattered throughout the genomes. Using a ligation-based approach, the physical termini of the genomes containing direct terminal repeats of 190-224 bp were established. No genes associated with lysogeny nor any toxin, virulence factor or antibiotic resistance genes were present in the genomes. Even though the phages had been isolated from different pig farms the nucleotide sequences of their genomes were 90-97% identical suggesting that the phages were undergoing microevolution within and between the farms. Lipopolysaccharide was found to be the surface receptor of all but one of the phages. The phages are classified as new species within the T7virus genus of Autographivirinae subfamily.
  • Nurmi, Katariina; Kareinen, Ilona; Virkanen, Juhani; Rajamaki, Kristiina; Kouri, Vesa-Petteri; Vaali, Kirsi; Levonen, Anna-Liisa; Fyhrquist, Nanna; Matikainen, Sampsa; Kovanen, Petri T.; Eklund, Kari K. (2017)
    Inflammasomes are intracellular protein platforms, which, upon activation, produce the highly proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1 beta and IL-18. Heme, hemin and their degradation products possess significant immunomodulatory functions. Here, we studied whether hemin regulates inflammasome function in macrophages. Both hemin and its derivative, cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP), significantly reduced IL-1 beta secretion by cultured human primary macrophages, the human monocytic leukemia cell line and also mouse bone marrow-derived and peritoneal macrophages. Intraperitoneal administration of CoPP to mice prior to urate crystal-induced peritonitis alleviated IL-1 beta secretion to the peritoneal cavity. In cultured macrophages, hemin and CoPP inhibited NLRP3 inflammasome assembly by reducing the amount of intracellular apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase-recruitment domain (ASC). The reduction of ASC was associated with enhanced autophagosome formation and autophagic flux. Inhibition of autophagy prevented the CoPP-induced depletion of ASC, implying that the depletion was caused by increased autophagy. Our data indicate that hemin functions as an endogenous negative regulator of the NLRP3 inflammasome. The inhibition is mediated via enhanced autophagy that results in increased degradation of ASC. This regulatory mechanism may provide a novel approach for the treatment of inflammasome-related diseases. (C) 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel
  • Bozcal, Elif; Dagdeviren, Melih; Uzel, Atac; Skurnik, Mikael (2017)
    It is crucial to understand the in vitro and in vivo regulation of the virulence factor genes of bacterial pathogens. In this study, we describe the construction of a versatile reporter system for Yersinia enterocolitica serotype O:3 (YeO3) based on the luxCDABE operon. In strain YeO3-luxCDE we integrated the luciferase substrate biosynthetic genes, luxCDE, into the genome of the bacterium so that the substrate is constitutively produced. The luxAB genes that encode the luciferase enzyme were cloned into a suicide vector to allow cloning of any promoter-containing fragment upstream the genes. When the obtained suicide-construct is mobilized into YeO3-luxCDE bacteria, it integrates into the recipient genome via homologous recombination between the cloned promoter fragment and the genomic promoter sequence and thereby generates a single-copy and stable promoter reporter. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-antigen (O-ag) and outer core hexasaccharide (OC) of YeO3 are virulence factors necessary to colonization of the intestine and establishment of infection. To monitor the activities of the OC and O-ag gene cluster promoters we constructed the reporter strains YeO3-P-oc::luxAB and YeO3-P-op1::luxAB, respectively. In vitro, at 37 degrees C both promoter activities were highest during logarithmic growth and decreased when the bacteria entered stationary growth phase. At 22 degrees C the OC gene cluster promoter activity increased during the late logarithmic phase. Both promoters were more active in late stationary phase. To monitor the promoter activities in vivo, mice were infected intragastrically and the reporter activities monitored by the IVIS technology. The mouse experiments revealed that both LPS promoters were well expressed in vivo and could be detected by IVIS, mainly from the intestinal region of orally infected mice.
  • Åberg, Fredrik; Helenius-Hietala, Jaana (2022)
    Several links between chronic liver disease and oral health have been described and are discussed in this narrative review. Oral manifestations such as lichen planus, ulcers, xerostomia, erosion and tongue abnormalities seem to be particularly prevalent among patients with chronic liver disease. These may be causal, coincidental, secondary to therapeutic interventions, or attributable to other factors commonly observed in liver disease patients. In addition, findings from both experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that periodontitis can induce liver injury and contribute to the progression of chronic liver disease through periodontitis-induced systemic inflammation, endotoxemia, and gut dysbiosis with increased intestinal translocation. This has brought forward the hypothesis of an oral-gut-liver axis. Preliminary clinical intervention studies indicate that local periodontal treatments may lead to beneficial liver effects, but more human studies are needed to clarify if treatment of periodontitis truly can halt or reverse progression of liver disease and improve liver-related outcomes.
  • Vaara, Martti (2019)
    Polymyxins (polymyxin B (PMB) and polymyxin E (colistin)) are cyclic lipodecapeptide antibiotics, highly basic due to five free amino groups, and rapidly bactericidal against Gram-negative bacteria, such as the majority of Enterobacteriaceae as well as Acinetobacter baumannii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Their clinical use was abandoned in the 1960s because of nephrotoxicity and because better-tolerated drugs belonging to other antibiotic classes were introduced. Now, due to the global dissemination of extremely-drug resistant Gram-negative bacterial strains, polymyxins have resurged as the last-line drugs against those strains. Novel derivatives that are less toxic and/or more effective at tolerable doses are currently under preclinical development and their properties have recently been described in several extensive reviews. Other derivatives lack any direct bactericidal activity but damage the outermost permeability barrier, the outer membrane, of the target bacteria and make it more permeable to many other antibiotics. This review describes the properties of three thus far best-characterized permeabilizer derivatives, i.e., the classic permeabilizer polymyxin B nonapeptide (PMBN), NAB7061, and SPR741/NAB741, a compound that recently successfully passed the clinical phase 1. Also, a few other permeabilizer compounds are brought up.
  • Wee, Bryan A.; Alves, Joana; Lindsay, Diane S. J.; Klatt, Ann-Brit; Sargison, Fiona A.; Cameron, Ross L.; Pickering, Amy; Gorzynski, Jamie; Corander, Jukka; Marttinen, Pekka; Opitz, Bastian; Smith, Andrew J.; Fitzgerald, J. Ross (2021)
    Legionella pneumophila is the most common cause of the severe respiratory infection known as Legionnaires' disease. However, the microorganism is typically a symbiont of free-living amoeba, and our understanding of the bacterial factors that determine human pathogenicity is limited. Here we carried out a population genomic study of 902 L. pneumophila isolates from human clinical and environmental samples to examine their genetic diversity, global distribution and the basis for human pathogenicity. We find that the capacity for human disease is representative of the breadth of species diversity although some clones are more commonly associated with clinical infections. We identified a single gene (lag-1) to be most strongly associated with clinical isolates. lag-1, which encodes an O-acetyltransferase for lipopolysaccharide modification, has been distributed horizontally across all major phylogenetic clades of L. pneumophila by frequent recent recombination events. The gene confers resistance to complement-mediated killing in human serum by inhibiting deposition of classical pathway molecules on the bacterial surface. Furthermore, acquisition of lag-1 inhibits complement-dependent phagocytosis by human neutrophils, and promoted survival in a mouse model of pulmonary legionellosis. Thus, our results reveal L. pneumophila genetic traits linked to disease and provide a molecular basis for resistance to complement-mediated killing. The bacterium Legionella pneumophila can cause severe respiratory infection, but is typically a symbiont of free-living amoeba. Here, the authors analyse the genomes of 902 clinical and environmental isolates, and identify a bacterial gene that is strongly associated with human infection and confers resistance to complement-mediated killing.
  • Kenyon, Johanna J.; Duda, Katarzyna A.; De Felice, Antonia; Cunneen, Monica M.; Molinaro, Antonio; Laitinen, Juha; Skurnik, Mikael; Holst, Otto; Reeves, Peter R.; De Castro, Cristina (2016)
    In Yersinia pseudotuberculosis complex, the O-antigen of LPS is used for the serological characterization of strains, and 21 serotypes have been identified to date. The O-antigen biosynthesis gene cluster and corresponding O-antigen structure have been described for 18, leaving O:8, O:13 and O:14 unresolved. In this study, two O:8 isolates were examined. The O-antigen gene cluster sequence of strain 151 was near identical to serotype O:4a, though a frame-shift mutation was found in ddhD, while No. 6 was different to 151 and carried the O:1b gene cluster. Structural analysis revealed that No. 6 produced a deeply truncated LPS, suggesting a mutation within the waaF gene. Both ddhD and waaF were cloned and expressed in 151 and No. 6 strains, respectively, and it appeared that expression of ddhD gene in strain 151 restored the O-antigen on LPS, while waaF in No. 6 resulted in an LPS truncated less severely but still without the O-antigen, suggesting that other mutations occurred in this strain. Thus, both O:8 isolates were found to be spontaneous O-antigen-negative mutants derived from other validated serotypes, and we propose to remove this serotype from the O-serotyping scheme, as the O:8 serological specificity is not based on the O-antigen.
  • Kopra, Elisa; Lahdentausta, Laura; Pietiäinen, Milla; Buhlin, Kåre; Mäntylä, Päivi; Hörkkö, Sohvi; Persson, Rutger; Paju, Susanna; Sinisalo, Juha; Salminen, Aino; Pussinen, Pirkko J. (2021)
    The use of systemic antibiotics may influence the oral microbiota composition. Our aim was to investigate in this retrospective study whether the use of prescribed antibiotics associate with periodontal status, oral microbiota, and antibodies against the periodontal pathogens. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland Data provided the data on the use of systemic antibiotics by record linkage to purchased medications and entitled reimbursements up to 1 year before the oral examination and sampling. Six different classes of antibiotics were considered. The Parogene cohort included 505 subjects undergoing coronary angiography with the mean (SD) age of 63.4 (9.2) years and 65% of males. Subgingival plaque samples were analysed using the checkerboard DNA-DNA hybridisation. Serum and saliva antibody levels to periodontal pathogens were analysed with immunoassays and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activity with the LAL assay. Systemic antibiotics were prescribed for 261 (51.7%) patients during the preceding year. The mean number of prescriptions among them was 2.13 (range 1-12), and 29.4% of the prescriptions were cephalosporins, 25.7% penicillins, 14.3% quinolones, 12.7% macrolides or lincomycin, 12.0% tetracycline, and 5.8% trimethoprim or sulphonamides. In linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, current smoking, and diabetes, number of antibiotic courses associated significantly with low periodontal inflammation burden index (PIBI, p < 0.001), bleeding on probing (BOP, p = 0.006), and alveolar bone loss (ABL, p = 0.042). Cephalosporins associated with all the parameters. The phyla mainly affected by the antibiotics were Bacteroidetes and Spirochaetes. Their levels were inversely associated with the number of prescriptions (p = 0.010 and p < 0.001) and directly associated with the time since the last prescription (p = 0.019 and p < 0.001). Significant inverse associations were observed between the number of prescriptions and saliva concentrations of Prevotella intermedia, Tannerella forsythia, and Treponema denticola and subgingival bacterial amounts of Porphyromonas gingivalis, P. intermedia, T. forsythia, and T. denticola. Saliva or serum antibody levels did not present an association with the use of antibiotics. Both serum (p = 0.031) and saliva (p = 0.032) LPS activity was lower in patients having any antibiotic course less than 1 month before sampling. Systemic antibiotics have effects on periodontal inflammation and oral microbiota composition, whereas the effects on host immune responses against the periodontal biomarker species seem unchanged.
  • Bruneaux, Matthieu; Ashrafi, Roghaieh; Kronholm, Ilkka; Laanto, Elina; Örmälä-Odegrip, Anni-Maria; Galarza, Juan A.; Chen, Zihan; Kubendran Sumathi, Mruthyunjay; Ketola, Tarmo (2022)
    Viruses are key actors of ecosystems and have major impacts on global biogeochemical cycles. Prophages deserve particular attention as they are ubiquitous in bacterial genomes and can enter a lytic cycle when triggered by environmental conditions. We explored how temperature affects the interactions between prophages and other biological levels using an opportunistic pathogen, the bacterium Serratia marcescens, which harbours several prophages and that had undergone an evolution experiment under several temperature regimes. We found that the release of one of the prophages was temperature-sensitive and malleable to evolutionary changes. We further discovered that the virulence of the bacterium in an insect model also evolved and was positively correlated with phage release rates. We determined through analysis of genetic and epigenetic data that changes in the bacterial outer cell wall structure possibly explain this phenomenon. We hypothezise that the temperature-dependent phage release rate acted as a selection pressure on S. marcescens and that it resulted in modified bacterial virulence in the insect host. Our study system illustrates how viruses can mediate the influence of abiotic environmental changes to other biological levels and thus be involved in ecosystem feedback loops.
  • Veit, Christina; Janczak, Andrew M.; Ranheim, Birgit; Vas, Judit; Valros, Anna; Sandercock, Dale A.; Piepponen, Petteri; Dulgheriu, Daniela; Nordgreen, Janicke (2021)
    Poor health is a risk factor for damaging behaviors, but the mechanisms behind this link are unknown. Injection of pigs with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) can be used to model aspects of poor health. Recent studies have shown that LPS-injected pigs perform more tail- and ear-directed behavior compared to saline-injected pigs and suggest that pro-inflammatory cytokines may play a role in these behaviors. The aims of this study were to test the effect of LPS on the social behavior of pigs and the neurotransmitters and modulators in their brains and to test the effect of a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug on the effects of LPS. Fifty-two female pigs (11-12 weeks) were allocated to four treatments comprising two injections: saline-saline (SS), saline-LPS (SL), ketoprofen-saline (KS), and ketoprofen-LPS (KL). Activity was scan-sampled every 5 min for 6 h after the last injection in the pen. Social behavior was observed continuously in 10 x 15-min bouts between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 1 day before (baseline) and 1 and 2 days after the injection. Saliva was analyzed for cortisol and plasma for tryptophan and kynurenine. The frontal cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and brain stem were sampled 72 h after the injection and analyzed for cytokines and monoamines. LPS activated the HPA axis and decreased the activity within 6 h after the injection. Ketoprofen lowered the effect of LPS on cortisol release and attenuated the behavioral signs of sickness in challenged pigs. SL pigs manipulated the ears of their pen mates significantly longer than SS pigs 2 days after the injection. LPS had no observed effect on IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, and IL-18. At 72 h after the injection, plasma tryptophan was depleted in SL pigs, and tryptophan and kynurenine concentrations in the frontal cortex and brain stem of SL pigs were significantly lower compared to those in SS pigs. Dopamine concentrations in the hypothalamus of SL pigs were significantly lower compared to those in SS pigs. Serotonin concentrations in the hypothalamus and noradrenaline concentrations in the hippocampus of SL pigs were significantly lower compared to those in KL pigs. In conclusion, LPS influenced the different neurotransmitters and modulators in the brain that are hypothesized to play an important role in the regulation of mood and behavior.
  • Hyvärinen, Kati; Tuomainen, Anita M.; Laitinen, Saara; Alfthan, Georg; Salminen, Irma; Leinonen, Maija; Saikku, Pekka; Kovanen, Petri T.; Jauhiainen, Matti; Pussinen, Pirkko J. (2013)
  • Filik, Karolina; Szermer-Olearnik, Bozena; Wernecki, Maciej; Happonen, Lotta J.; Pajunen, Maria I.; Nawaz, Ayesha; Qasim, Muhammad Suleman; Jun, Jin Woo; Mattinen, Laura; Skurnik, Mikael; Brzozowska, Ewa (2020)
    We report here the complete genome sequence and characterization ofYersiniabacteriophage vB_YenP_phi 80-18. phi 80-18 was isolated in 1991 using aY. enterocoliticaserotype O:8 strain 8081 as a host from a sewage sample in Turku, Finland, and based on its morphological and genomic features is classified as a podovirus. The genome is 42 kb in size and has 325 bp direct terminal repeats characteristic for podoviruses. The genome contains 57 predicted genes, all encoded in the forward strand, of which 29 showed no similarity to any known genes. Phage particle proteome analysis identified altogether 24 phage particle-associated proteins (PPAPs) including those identified as structural proteins such as major capsid, scaffolding and tail component proteins. In addition, also the DNA helicase, DNA ligase, DNA polymerase, 5 '-exonuclease, and the lytic glycosylase proteins were identified as PPAPs, suggesting that they might be injected together with the phage genome into the host cell to facilitate the take-over of the host metabolism. The phage-encoded RNA-polymerase and DNA-primase were not among the PPAPs. Promoter search predicted the presence of four phage and eleven host RNA polymerase -specific promoters in the genome, suggesting that early transcription of the phage is host RNA-polymerase dependent and that the phage RNA polymerase takes over later. The phage tolerates pH values between 2 and 12, and is stable at 50 degrees C but is inactivated at 60 degrees C. It grows slowly with a 50 min latent period and has apparently a low burst size. Electron microscopy revealed that the phage has a head diameter of about 60 nm, and a short tail of 20 nm. Whole-genome phylogenetic analysis confirmed that phi 80-18 belongs to theAutographivirinaesubfamily of thePodoviridaefamily, that it is 93.2% identical toYersiniaphage fHe-Yen3-01. Host range analysis showed that phi 80-18 can infect in addition toY. enterocoliticaserotype O:8 strains also strains of serotypes O:4, O:4,32, O:20 and O:21, the latter ones representing similar toY. enterocoliticaserotype O:8, the American pathogenic biotype 1B strains. In conclusion, the phage phi 80-18 is a promising candidate for the biocontrol of the American biotype 1BY. enterocolitica.