O-antigens of Gram-negative bacteria modulate the interactions of bacterial cells with diverse external factors, including the components of the immune system and bacteriophages. Some phages need to acquire specific adhesins to overcome the O-antigen layer. For other phages, O-antigen is required for phage infection. In this case, interaction of phage receptor binding proteins coupled with enzymatic degradation or modification of the O-antigen is followed by phage infection. Identification of the strategies used by newly isolated phages may be of importance in their consideration for various applications. Here we describe an approach based on screening for host LPS alterations caused by selection by bacteriophages. We describe an optimized LPS profiling procedure that is simple, rapid and suitable for mass screening of mutants. We demonstrate that the phage infection strategies identified using a set of engineered E. coli 4 s mutants with impaired or altered LPS synthesis are in good agreement with the results of simpler tests based on LPS profiling of phage-resistant spontaneous mutants.
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