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Molecular Characterization of Salmonella Phage Wara Isolated from River Water in Brazil

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance is increasing despite new treatments being employed, so novel strategies are required to ensure that bacterial infections remain treatable. Bacteriophages (phages; bacteria viruses) have the potential to be used as natural antimicrobial methods to control bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella spp. A Salmonella phage, Wara, was isolated from environmental water samples at the Subae River Basin, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. The basin has environmental impacts in its main watercourses arising from the dumping of domestic and industrial effluents and agricultural and anthropological activities. The phage genome sequence was determined by Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT) MinION and Illumina HiSeq sequencing, and assembly was carried out by Racon (MinION) and Unicycler (Illumina, Illumina + MinION). The genome was annotated and compared to other Salmonella phages using various bioinformatics approaches. MinION DNA sequencing combined with Racon assembly gave the best complete genome sequence. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that Wara is a member of the Tequintavirus genus. A lack of lysogeny genes, antimicrobial resistance, and virulence genes indicated that Wara has therapeutic and biocontrol potential against Salmonella species in healthcare and agriculture.

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