1887

Abstract

The incorporation of selected particulates or charged polymers into qualitative and quantitative assay systems has been found to increase virus specific infectivity. The purpose of this study was to identify a mechanism(s) to explain the effect of charged particulates upon plaquing efficiency. The clay minerals kaolinite (K), montmorillonite (M), with the bacteriophage øX-174 and its host , were used as a model system. Enhanced bacteriophage infectivity (expressed as plaque-forming units) occurred at K and M concentrations in the agar overlay of 0·14–0·0 and 0·01·15 mg ml, respectively. A maximum increase of bacteriophage titre (to 180–230% of the control value) occurred at 0·18–0·20 and 0·06–0·08 mg mlK and M, respectively. Increased infectivity was related to the type of clay mineral and to the cation saturating the exchange complex in the order K homoionic (i.e. saturated with a single cation type) to Na> Mg> Kand M homoionic to Mg> Na> K. Enhanced infectivity of the bacteriophage was not related to the surface area of K nor to the external or total surface area of M. The increase of bacteriophage titre above that of the control was only minimally related to cation-exchange capacity, but was associated with the anion-exchange capacity of the clay. The increased plaquing efficiency is ascribed to the formation of high-density bacteria-clay microcosms which, in turn, modify bacteriophage contact and adsorption to the host cell.

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1989-12-01
2022-01-19
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