We have utilized 'lysis from without' mediated by UV-inactivated bacteriophage T6 to eliminate extracellular bacteria in experiments measuring the internalization, intracellular survival and replication of Yersinia pestis within mouse peritoneal macrophages and of Shigella flexneri within a human intestinal epithelial cell line. The technique we describe has the following characteristics: (a) bacterial killing is complete within 15 min at 37°C, with a > 103-fold reduction in colony-forming units (CFU); (b) bacteria within cultured mammalian cells are protected from killing by UV-inactivated T6; (c) the mammalian cells are not observably affected by exposure to UV-inactivated T6. This technique has several advantages over the use of antibiotics to eliminate extracellular bacteria and is potentially widely applicable in studies of the interactions between pathogenic bacteria and host phagocytic cells as well as other target tissues.
- bacteria-phagocyte interactions
- bactericidal assays
- in vitro infectivity assays
- intracellular bacterial pathogens
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy