Prevalence, genetic conservation and transmissibility of the Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteriophage (φCpn1)

Jan Rupp, Werner Solbach, Jens Gieffers*

*Corresponding author for this work
    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteriophage was first identified in isolate AR-39. Its relevance for chlamydial biology and pathogenicity remains unknown. In this study, a collection of 36 C. pneumoniae isolates was screened and the phage was detected in eight. As the positive isolates differed by several polymorphisms, they presumably belonged to different genetic lineages. It was investigated whether different genotypes of the phage also existed and whether they could be assigned to chlamydial genotypes as evidence of coevolution. Sequencing of >3000 bp of the 4524 bp phage genome revealed complete identity to the published sequences. Thus, it was hypothesized that the genetic conservation was related to easy transmissibility of the phage between C. pneumoniae isolates. Cocultivation of phage positive and negative isolates followed by cloning and identification of different C. pneumoniae genotypes demonstrated for the first time transmissibility of the bacteriophage from one isolate to the other. These observations indicate that the phage is capable of infecting C. pneumoniae isolates of different genetic backgrounds and suggest that all C. pneumoniae strains might be susceptible. The successful in vitro infection of C. pneumonie with the phage provides the basis for studying its pathogenetic relevance in isolates of identical genetic background and provides a potential tool for genetic manipulation of C. pneumoniae.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)45-49
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2007

    Research Areas and Centers

    • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)


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