The current study aimed to isolate and characterize bacteriophage against drug resistant, Shiga toxigenic E.coli, one of the zoonotic, food-borne organisms associated with ruminants, mainly cattle. STEC were isolated (n=35) from neonatal calves, dairy workers and the surrounding environment and their antimicrobial resistance pattern was studied. Out of the 35 isolates tested, 17 isolates were found to be multi-drug resistant to important antibiotics like as ampicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanate, ciprofloxacin, streptomycin and tetracycline. Bacteriophage namely Ib_pec2 was isolated against NM—18-040 isolate and its morphology, genetic and proteomic characterization was done. Morphological analysis by TEM revealed bacteriophage belonging to myoviridae family. The genetic characterization of g23 gene revealed that the bacteriophage belonged to Tequatrovirus of myoviridae family. SDS-PAGE analysis of structural proteins followed by LC-MS/MS analysis could able to identify five proteins identical to Tequatrovirus of myoviridae family. One step growth curve experiments revealed a latency period of 40 mins and a burst size of 893 PFU/ bacteria. Temperature and pH ranging from 40-50°C, pH 7-8, respectively were ideal for phage survival and multiplication. Phage was able to lyse 22 out of 35 STEC isolates. Thus, the study could able to characterize Ib_pec2 which could be used in control of STEC in the near future. STEC is a commensal organism in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants but pathogenic in humans. Bacteriophages can be used as alternatives to antibiotics to control its growth in ruminants and prevent its further spillage in the environment.

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