2018 Volume 80 Issue 6 Pages 851-860
The broad-spectrum lytic capability of Salmonella bacteriophages against various Salmonella species was evaluated to determine their potential as an alternative for antibiotics, and the safety and preventive effects of the bacteriophages were assessed on mice and pigs. Four bacteriophage cocktails were prepared using 13 bacteriophages, and the lytic capability of the four bacteriophage cocktails was tested using Salmonella reference strains and field isolates. Bacteriophage cocktail C (SEP-1, SGP-1, STP-1, SS3eP-1, STP-2, SChP-1, SAP-1, SAP-2; ≥109 pfu/ml) showed the best lytic activity against the Salmonella reference strains (100% of 34) and field isolates (92.5% of 107). Fifty mice were then orally inoculated with bacteriophage cocktail C to determine the distribution of bacteriophages in various organs, blood and feces. The effects of bacteriophages on Salmonella infection in weaned pigs (n=15) were also evaluated through an experimental challenge with Salmonella Typhimurium after treatment with bacteriophage cocktail C. All mice exhibited distribution of the bacteriophages in all organs, blood and feces until 15 days post infection (dpi). After 35 dpi, bacteriophages were not detected in any of these specimens. As demonstrated in a pig challenge study, treatment with bacteriophage cocktail C reduced the level of Salmonella shedding in feces. The metagenomic analyses of these pig feces also revealed that bacteriophage treatment decreased the number of species of the Enterobacteriaceae family without significant disturbance to the normal fecal flora. This study showed that bacteriophages effectively controlled Salmonella in a pig challenge model and could be a good alternative for antibiotics to control Salmonella infection.