Rapid Killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae with a Bacteriophage Cell Wall Hydrolase

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  07 Dec 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5549, pp. 2170-2172
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066869

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Nasopharyngeal carriage is the major reservoir forStreptococcus pneumoniae in the community. Although eliminating this reservoir would greatly reduce disease occurrence, no suitable intervention has been available for this purpose. We show here that seconds after contact, a purified pneumococcal bacteriophage lytic enzyme (Pal) is able to kill 15 common serotypes of pneumococci, including highly penicillin-resistant strains. In vivo, previously colonized mice revealed undetectable pneumococcal titers 5 hours after a single enzyme treatment. Pal enzyme had little or no effect on microorganisms normally found in the human oropharynx, and Pal-resistant pneumococci could not be detected after extensive exposure to the enzyme.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: vaf{at}

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science