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Publications (15)

  • Tushar Suvra Bhowmick · Mayukh Das · Kevin M. Heinz · [...] · Carlos F. Gonzalez
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Xylella fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa (Xff) is the causal agent of Pierce's Disease (PD) of grapevines and is vectored by the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS, Homalodisca vitripennis). Previously we have reported the development of a bacteriophage (phage) based biocontrol system for PD, but no information on insect transmission of phages has been reported. Here we communicate that laboratory reared GWSSs fed on cowpea plants (Vigna unguiculata subsp. unguiculata) harboring the virulent phage Paz were able to uptake of phage efficiently when the phage was present in high concentration, but were inefficient in transfer to plants.
    Article · Aug 2016 · Bacteriophage
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    Mayukh Das · Tushar Suvra Bhowmick · Stephen J Ahern · [...] · Carlos F Gonzalez
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pierce's Disease (PD) of grapevines, caused by Xylella fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa (Xf), is a limiting factor in the cultivation of grapevines in the US. There are presently no effective control methods to prevent or treat PD. The therapeutic and prophylactic efficacy of a phage cocktail composed of four virulent (lytic) phages was evaluated for control of PD. Xf levels in grapevines were significantly reduced in therapeutically or prophylactically treated grapevines. PD symptoms ceased to progress one week post-therapeutic treatment and symptoms were not observed in prophylactically treated grapevines. Cocktail phage levels increased in grapevines in the presence of the host. No in planta phage-resistant Xf isolates were obtained. Moreover, Xf mutants selected for phage resistance in vitro did not cause PD symptoms. Our results indicate that phages have great potential for biocontrol of PD and other economically important diseases caused by Xylella.
    Full-text available · Article · Jun 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    Stephen J Ahern · Mayukh Das · Tushar Suvra Bhowmick · [...] · Carlos F Gonzalez
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The xylem-limited bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, is the causal agent of several plant diseases, most notably Pierce's Disease of grape and citrus variegated chlorosis. We report on the isolation and characterization of the first virulent phages for X. fastidiosa, siphophages Sano and Salvo and podophages Prado and Paz, with host range that includes Xanthomonas spp.. Phages propagated on homologous hosts had an observed adsorption rate constant of ∼4 × 10(-12) ml cell(-1) min(-1) for X. fastidiosa strain Temecula and ∼5-7 × 10(-10) ml cell(-1) min(-1) for Xanthomonas strain EC-12. Sano and Salvo exhibit >80% nucleotide identity to each other in aligned regions and are syntenic to phage BcepNazgul. We propose that phage BcepNazgul is the founding member of a novel phage type, to which Sano and Salvo belong. The lysis genes of the Nazgul-like phage type include a gene that encodes an outer membrane lipoprotein endolysin and also spanin gene families that provide insight into the evolution of the lysis pathway for phages of Gram-negative hosts. Prado and Paz, although exhibiting no significant DNA homology to each other, are new members of the phiKMV-like phage type, based on the position of the single-subunit RNA polymerase gene. The four phages are Type IV pilus-dependent for infection of both X. fastidiosa and Xanthomonas. The phages may be useful as agents for an effective and environmentally responsible strategy for the control of diseases caused by X. fastidiosa.
    Full-text available · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of bacteriology
  • M. Das · T. S. Bhowmick · S. J. Ahern · [...] · C. Gonzalez
    Conference Paper · Jun 2013
  • T. S. Bhowmick · M. Das · K. M. Heinz · [...] · C. Gonzalez
    Conference Paper · Jun 2013
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    Full-text available · Article · Oct 2012 · International journal of antimicrobial agents
  • Article · Aug 2012 · International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
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    B L Sarkar · T S Bhowmick · M Das · [...] · G Balakrish Nair
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cholera has been a prevalent disease worldwide since the early 19th century. Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 are the two serogroups that have been mainly implicated in causing cholera. This study reports the results of biotyping, serotyping and phage typing of V. cholerae O1 and O139 (1998-2007) strains received from different parts of India for the identification of the trends in the occurrence and spread of cholera in the country. However, there has been a notable steep decline in the occurrence of V. cholerae O139 strains over the past few years resulting in no strain of V. cholerae O139 being received from any part of India in 2007 and 2008. Of the total strains received, 79.1% were serotyped as Ogawa and the remaining 20.9% were found to be Inaba, which indicates that Ogawa was the predominant serotype. Almost 100% typeability was observed with the new scheme of V. cholerae O1, with type 27 being the dominant phage type and V. cholerae O139 strains were clustered into the predominant phage type T-1. From the phage typing and serotyping results, it can be concluded that V. cholerae O1 (T-27) and O139 (T-1) strains circulate throughout the country at any given time.
    Full-text available · Article · Jul 2011
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    Mayukh Das · R.K. Nandy · Tushar Suvra Bhowmick · [...] · B.L. Sarkar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In countries where cholera is endemic, Vibrio cholerae O1 bacteriophages have been detected in sewage water. These have been used to serve not only as strain markers, but also for the typing of V. cholerae strains. Vibriophage N4 (ATCC 51352-B1) occupies a unique position in the new phage-typing scheme and can infect a larger number of V. cholerae O1 biotype El Tor strains. Here we characterized the complete genome sequence of this typing vibriophage. The complete DNA sequence of the N4 genome was determined by using a shotgun sequencing approach. Complete genome sequence explored that phage N4 is comprised of one circular, double-stranded chromosome of 38,497 bp with an overall GC content of 42.8%. A total of 47 open reading frames were identified and functions could be assigned to 30 of them. Further, a close relationship with another vibriophage, VP4, and the enterobacteriophage T7 could be established. DNA-DNA hybridization among V. cholerae O1 and O139 phages revealed homology among O1 vibriophages at their genomic level. This study indicates two evolutionary distinctive branches of the possible phylogenetic origin of O1 and O139 vibriophages and provides an unveiled collection of information on viral gene products of typing vibriophages.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2011 · Intervirology
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    Tushar Suvra Bhowmick · Mayukh Das · B L Sarkar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Serious pandemics of cholera have occurred throughout the known history of mankind, especially in India, which is a motherland for cholera disease. For the last 20 years several DNA-based typing methods have been employed to study the clonal relatedness between Vibrio cholerae isolates irrespective of their geographical locations. Traditional typing methods, such as biochemical tests, phage typing, serotyping, biotyping and antimicrobial susceptibility tests, have produced reliable and informative data regarding V. cholerae for a long time. Gradually molecular typing techniques have taken the place of traditional typing methods because they produce the same results upon repeat testing of V. cholerae strain. In this article we focus on the discriminatory power of different DNA fingerprint techniques that are generally used to know the homogeneity and heterogeneity among different V. cholerae isolates.
    Full-text available · Article · Jan 2011 · Future Microbiology
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    T S Bhowmick · M Das · B L Sarkar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study attempted to examine the relatedness between RAPD-PCR, PFGE and VcA VNTR results with those of conventional phage typing of V. cholerae strains and to evaluate VcA VNTR as an indispensable molecular-typing tool that accomplishes the urgent need for effective epidemiological surveillance. All the O1 El Tor strains were predominantly clustered into phage type T27 with the new phage-typing scheme. Using RAPD-PCR, a total of 69 O1 El Tor strains were grouped under 16 different electrophoretic patterns. A total of 33 pulsotypes were identified in these strains by PFGE. VcA VNTR revealed high VcA polymorphism in all V. cholerae strains incorporated in this study. Our results underline the considerable potential of VcA VNTR analysis as a tool for molecular typing of V. cholerae.
    Full-text available · Article · Mar 2010 · Epidemiology and Infection
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    Tushar Suvra Bhowmick · Mayukh Das · Werner Ruppitsch · [...] · B L Sarkar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vibrio cholerae O1, O139 and occasionally non-O1/non-O139 serogroups are most often responsible for epidemic and pandemic cholera. This study used genotypic patterns of PCR-based detection of virulence-associated and regulatory protein genes, along with phage typing, to characterize 86 V. cholerae strains. Thirty-eight of 53 O1 biotype El Tor strains harboured both tcpA classical and tcpA El Tor genes, and three El Tor strains lacked the V. cholerae O1-specific gene (Vc-O1); three O139 strains contained both Vc-O1 and Vc-O139 genes and seven out of ten non-O1/non-O139 strains possessed the Vc-O1 gene. The latter strains all harboured the virulence-associated genes ctxA, zot, ace, RS1, hlyA, ompU, rtxA and sxt. Two phage types, T27 and T25, were predominant in strains from different geographical regions of India, whereas more variation in phage susceptibility was observed for tetracycline-resistant strains from Kolkata. These results suggest that the pattern and distribution of virulence genes and phage types of V. cholerae are equally useful and discriminatory in tracing the origin of newly emerging strains.
    Full-text available · Article · Jul 2009 · Journal of Medical Microbiology
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    Mayukh Das · Tushar Suvra Bhowmick · Ranjan K Nandy · [...] · Banwarilal L Sarkar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cholera is a public health threat in all developing countries. Kolkata, a city in eastern India, is an endemic zone for cholera. During the course of a comprehensive investigation on the distribution of phages of Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 in freshwater bodies in Kolkata, we were able to isolate the phages of V. cholerae O1 and O139. Vibrio cholerae O1 phages were found at all the sites and exhibited a distinct seasonal cycle, with a primary peak (13.6-17.2 PFU mL(-1)) during monsoon (June to August) in both 2006 and 2007. Vibrio cholerae O139 phages were present in the environment and were predominant during monsoon in the year 2006, except for late winter and early summer from February to April. In contrast, in the year 2007, the O139 phages could be isolated only during July to December, with the highest counts of 12.0 PFU mL(-1) determined in August. The multiplex PCR results showed that 90 samples were positive for wbe of V. cholerae O1, 32 samples for O139 (wbf) and 18 samples for both. This study shows that surveillance of vibriophages indicates the presence of V. cholerae O1 and O139 in water bodies in and around Kolkata and could therefore serve as a powerful biomonitoring agent.
    Full-text available · Article · Apr 2009 · FEMS Microbiology Ecology
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    Tushar Suvra Bhowmick · Hemanta Koley · Mayukh Das · [...] · B.L. Sarkar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cholera continues to be an important public health problem in developing countries, including India. This study concerns the feasibility of possible exploitation of bacteriophages as a biocontrol agent to eliminate the pathogen Vibrio cholerae from the gut using the removable intestinal tie-adult rabbit diarrhoea (RITARD) model. A control rabbit challenged with 10(9) colony-forming units (CFU)/mL of V. cholerae MAK 757 developed Grade II to IV diarrhoea, but the phage-treated rabbit that received 10(9)CFU/mL MAK 757 and 10(8) plaque-forming units (PFU)/mL cocktail phages produced only Grade II diarrhoea. Histological results revealed that in the control rabbit (MAK 757-treated), villi lost their normal shape and showed more inflammatory cellular infiltration in the lamina propria compared with the experimental rabbit. Our data suggest that phages could be valuable as prophylaxis against V. cholerae infection.
    Full-text available · Article · Feb 2009 · International journal of antimicrobial agents
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    Tushar Suvra Bhowmick · Mayukh Das · Nivedita Roy · B.L. Sarkar
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether Vibrio cholerae strains with similar phage types are also genetically homogeneous or heterogeneous by molecular typing methods like PFGE and RAPD-PCR employed in this study. A total of 26 V. cholerae O1 and O139 strains received from different parts of India were analyzed by using conventional phage typing method, antibiogram and molecular typing methods such as PFGE and RAPD-PCR. Both O1 and O139 strains were resistant against two antibiotics (Ampicillin and Furazolidone) were detected. All of these strains were clustered in a single phage type, i.e., Type 27 for V. cholerae O1 and Type 1 for V. cholerae O139. Extensive molecular characterization by RAPD and PFGE showed that six sets of O1 and O139 strains, each comprising two strains, had identical PFGE and RAPD profiles. Only one O139 strain (PL-4) had unique RAPD and PFGE profile among all the 26 V. cholerae strains used in this study. Apart from serology, the strains of V. cholerae can be discriminated by this conventional phage typing system that offers the basic information on identification, biotyping and discrimination of strains. But, a high level of heterogeneity was observed in RAPD and PFGE profiles indicating the clonal diversity of V. cholerae O1 and O139 strains. It was concluded that these strains were phenotypically identical through phage typing system and antibiogram but genetically dissimilar, as shown in molecular typing systems.
    Full-text available · Article · Jun 2007 · The Journal of infection