Targeting biofilm of MDR Providencia stuartii by phages using a catheter model

Chani Rakov, Shira Ben Porat, Sivan Alkalay-Oren, Ortal Yerushalmy, Mohanad Abdalrhman, Niv Gronovich, Lina Huang, David Pride, Shunit Coppenhagen-Glazer, Ran Nir-Paz, Ronen Hazan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Providencia spp. are emerging pathogens mainly in nosocomial infections. Providencia stuartii in particular is involved in urinary tract infections and contributes significantly to the high incidence of biofilm-formation in catheterized patients. Furthermore, recent reports suggested a role for multiple drug resistant (MDR) P. stuartii in hospital-associated outbreaks which leads to excessive complications resulting in challenging treatments. Phage therapy is currently one of the most promising solutions to combat antibiotic-resistant infections. However, the number of available phages targeting Providencia spp. is extremely limited, restricting the use of phage therapy in such cases. In the present study, we describe the isolation and characterization of 17 lytic and temperate bacteriophages targeting clinical isolates of Providencia spp. as part of the Israeli Phage Bank (IPB). These phages, isolated from sewage samples, were evaluated for host range activity and effectively eradicated 95% of the tested bacterial strains isolated from different geographic locations and displaying a wide range of antibiotic resistance. Their lytic activity is demonstrated on agar plates, planktonic cultures, and biofilm formed in a catheter model. The results suggest that these bacteriophages can potentially be used for treatment of antibiotic-resistant Providencia spp. infections in general and of urinary tract infections in particular.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number375
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 by the authors.


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Catheter infections
  • Phage therapy
  • Providencia rettgeri
  • Providencia stuartii


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