Sensitivity of capsular-producing Streptococcus thermophilus strains to bacteriophage adsorption.

C. Rodriguez, Roel Van Der Meulen, Frederik Vaningelgem, G. Font De Valdez, R. Raya, Luc De Vuyst, Fernanda Mozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: To determine whether the presence and type of exopolysaccharides
(EPS), slime-EPS or capsular, and the structural characteristics of the polymers
produced by Streptococcus thermophilus strains could interfere with or be
involved in phage adsorption.
Methods and Results: Phage-host interactions between eight EPS-producing
Strep. thermophilus strains (CRL419, 638, 804, 810, 815, 817, 821, 1190) and
five streptococcus specific phages (/Ysca, /3, /5, /6, /8) isolated from Argentinean
faulty fermentation failed yoghurts were evaluated. No relationship was
found between the EPS chemical composition and the phage sensitivity _ resistance
phenotype. In general, the capsular-producing strains were more sensitive
to phage attacks than the noncapsular-producing strains. Streptococcus thermophilus
CRL1190 (capsular-producing) was the only strain sensitive to all bacteriophages
and showed the highest efficiency of plating. Phage adsorption to a
capsular-negative, EPS low-producing mutant of strain CRL1190 was reduced,
especially for /Ycsa and /8.
Conclusions: The presence of capsular polysaccharide surrounding the cells of
Strep. thermophilus strains could play a role in the adsorption of specific phages
to the cells.
Significance and Impact of the Study: Capsular-producing Strep. thermophilus
strains should be evaluated for their bacteriophage sensitivity if they are
included in starter cultures for the fermented food industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-468
Number of pages7
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • bacteriophages
  • capsular polysaccharides
  • exopolysaccharides
  • lactic acid bacteria


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