Isolation and characterization of streptococcus mutans phage as a possible treatment agent for caries

Hadar Ben-Zaken, Reut Kraitman, Shunit Coppenhagen-Glazer, Leron Khalifa, Sivan Alkalay-Oren, Daniel Gelman, Gilad Ben-Gal, Nurit Beyth, Ronen Hazan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Streptococcus mutans is a key bacterium in dental caries, one of the most prevalent chronic infectious diseases. Conventional treatment fails to specifically target the pathogenic bacteria, while tending to eradicate commensal bacteria. Thus, caries remains one of the most common and challenging diseases. Phage therapy, which involves the use of bacterial viruses as anti-bacterial agents, has been gaining interest worldwide. Nevertheless, to date, only a few phages have been isolated against S. mutans. In this study, we describe the isolation and characterization of a new S. mutans phage, termed SMHBZ8, from hundreds of human saliva samples that were collected, filtered, and screened. The SMHBZ8 genome was sequenced and analyzed, visualized by TEM, and its antibacterial properties were evaluated in various states. In addition, we tested the lytic efficacy of SMHBZ8 against S. mutans in a human cariogenic dentin model. The isolation and characterization of SMHBZ8 may be the first step towards developing a potential phage therapy for dental caries.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number825
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by The Legacy Heritage Clinical Research Initiative of the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 540/17) (NB), The “United States—Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)” grant #2017123, the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) IPMP grant #ISF1349/20, the Rosetrees Trust grant A2232, and the Milgrom Family Support Program and the Isidor Kabakoff grant (grant number 0365076). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Bacteriophage
  • Biofilm
  • Dental caries
  • Phage therapy
  • S. mutans
  • S. mutans phage
  • mutans phage
  • bacteriophage
  • dental caries
  • S
  • phage therapy
  • biofilm
  • mutans


Dive into the research topics of 'Isolation and characterization of streptococcus mutans phage as a possible treatment agent for caries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this