ASM Microbe: Phages isolated from kitchen sponges

Researchers from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT, NY, USA) have discovered and characterized two bacteriophages from kitchen sponges. 

Kitchen sponges are often touted as one of the most heavily contaminated items in the home. And since bacteriophages are found wherever bacteria live, the researchers hypothesized that the diverse microbial ecosystem of the kitchen sponge may harbor novel bacteriophages. 

To investigate, seven students isolated bacteria from dirty kitchen sponges brought in from their home, which were then used to search for bacteriophages. Two students succeeded in isolating bacteriophages that targeted the host bacteria from their sponges. 16S sequencing was then used to identify both host strains as members of Enterobacteriaceae, but biochemical test results demonstrated that the isolates are different. 

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