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Microencapsulation of a Staphylococcus phage for concentration and long-term storage

El Haddad, L., Lemay, M.J., Khalil, G.E., Moineau, S., Champagne, C.P. (2018). Microencapsulation of a Staphylococcus phage for concentration and long-term storage, 76 304-309. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fm.2018.06.002

Abstract

© 2018 In an effort to reduce food safety risks, virulent phages are investigated as antibacterial agents for the control of foodborne pathogens. The aim of this study was to evaluate microencapsulation (ME) as a tool to concentrate and store staphylococcal bacteriophages. As a proof of concept, phage Team1 belonging to the Myoviridae family was microencapsulated in alginate gel particles of 0.5 mm (micro-beads) and 2 mm (macro-beads) of diameter. Gel contraction occurred during the hardening period in the CaCl2 solution, and the diameters of the initial alginate droplets shrunk by 16% (micro-beads) and 44% (micro-beads). As compared to the phage counts in the alginate solution, this contraction resulted in the increase of the phage titers, per g of alginate gel, by factors of 2 (micro-beads) and 6 (micro-beads). The encapsulation yield was highest in the macro-beads. Although phage Team1 was successfully frozen in beads, ME did not improve phage stability to freeze-drying. The addition of glycerol protected the microencapsulated phages during freezing but had no effect on free phage suspensions. Finally, ME improved storage stability at 4 °C but had no impact on freezing or drying over three months of storage.

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