Resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 phage F116 to sodium hypochlorite

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The development of viral resistance to sodium hypochlorite was investigated using the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteriophage F116 as a model system. This phage was chosen because of its structural characteristics and former investigations conducted in this laboratory. F116 was shown to be sensitive to a sodium hypochlorite concentration of 0·0075 g l-1 (available chlorine) which produced a 5 log10 reduction in titre in a suspension test. Survival bacteriophages challenged with this sodium hypochlorite concentration were isolated, propagated and challenged again with the same and higher concentrations of the biocide. It was observed that progeny virions were becoming increasingly resistant to sodium hypochlorite challenges up to a concentration of 0·0175 g l-1 of available chlorine. It was also noticed that 1-2 log10 of F116 virions from resistant phage lysates remained sensitive to the biocide. An electron microscopical investigation of F116 resistant lysates showed that the phage resistance to sodium hypochlorite was not caused by F116 particles aggregation. Furthermore, no morphological difference between the sensitive and resistance F116 particles to sodium hypochlorite was identified.

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