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APPELMANS PROTOCOL - A DIRECTED IN VITRO EVOLUTION ENABLES INDUCTION AND RECOMBINATION OF PROPHAGES WITH EXPANDED HOST RANGE.

Virus Research 2023 November 18
Infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) present significant healthcare challenges due to limited treatment options. Bacteriophage (phage) therapy offers potential as an alternative treatment. However, the high host specificity of phages poses challenges for their therapeutic application. To broaden the phage spectrum, laboratory-based phage training using the Appelmans protocol was employed in this study. As a result, the protocol successfully expanded the host range of a phage cocktail targeting CRAB. Further analysis revealed that the expanded host range phages isolated from the output cocktail were identified as recombinant derivatives originating from prophages induced from encountered bacterial strains. These findings provide valuable genetic insights into the protocol's mechanism when applied to phages infecting A. baumannii strains that have never been investigated before. However, it is noteworthy that the expanded host range phages obtained from this protocol exhibited limited stability, raising concerns about their suitability for therapeutic purposes.

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