Development and Validation of a Microtiter Plate-Based Assay for Determination of Bacteriophage Host Range and Virulence. Academic Article uri icon


  • Bacteriophages, which are the natural predators of bacteria, have re-emerged as an attractive alternative to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria. Phages are highly specific at the species and strain level and measurement of the phage host range plays an important role in utilizing the phage as antimicrobials. The most common method for phage host range determination has been to spot phage lysates on soft agar overlays and observe plaque formation. In this study, a liquid culture-based assay was developed in a 96-well microtiter plate format to measure the phage host range and virulence for a collection of 15 Salmonella phages against a panel of 20 Salmonella strains representing 11 serovars. This method was compared to a traditional spot method. The majority of the host range results from two methods were in agreement including in cases where a bacterial strain was insensitive to the phage. Each method produced a false-negative result in 19/300 (6%) of the measured phage-host combinations when compared to the other method. The spot method tended to indicate greater phage sensitivity than the microtiter assay even though direct comparisons of the response magnitude between the two methods is difficult since they operate on different mechanisms. The microtiter plate assay was able to provide data on both the phage host range and virulence in greater resolution in a high-throughput format.

published proceedings

  • Viruses

author list (cited authors)

  • Xie, Y., Wahab, L., & Gill, J. J.

complete list of authors

  • Xie, Yicheng||Wahab, Laith||Gill, Jason J

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM