Phage therapy of coral white plague disease: Properties of phage BA3

Rotem Efrony, Ilil Atad, Eugene Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The bacteriophage BA3 multiplies in and lyses the coral pathogen Thalassomonas loyana. The complete genome of phage BA3 was sequenced; it contains 47 open reading frames with a 40.9% G + C content. Phage BA3 adsorbed to its starved host in seawater with a k = 1.0 × 10-6 phage ml-1 min-1. Phage therapy of coral disease in aquarium experiments was successful when the phage was added at the same time as the pathogen or 1 day later, but failed to protect the coral when added 2 days after bacterial infection. When the phages were added 1 day after coral infection, the phage titer increased about 100-fold and remained present in the aquarium water throughout the 37-day experiment. At the end of the experiment, the concentration of phages associated with the corals was 2.5 ± 0.5 × 104 per cm2 of coral surface. Corals that were infected with the pathogen and treated with phage did not transmit the disease to healthy corals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the Israel Center for the Study of Emerging Diseases, the Israel Science Foundation, and the World Bank Coral Disease and Bleaching Groups.


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