Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses that target bacteria, with the ability to lyse and kill host bacterial cells. Due to this, they have been of some interest as a therapeutic since their discovery in the early 1900s, but with the recent increase in antibiotic resistance, phages have seen a resurgence in attention. Current methods of isolation and purification of phages can be long and tedious, with caesium chloride concentration gradients the gold standard for purifying a phage fraction. Isolation of novel phages requires centrifugation and ultrafiltration of mixed samples, such as water sources, effluent or faecal samples etc, to prepare phage filtrates for further testing. We propose countercurrent chromatography as a novel and alternative approach to use when studying phages, as a scalable and high-yield method for obtaining phage fractions. However, the full extent of the usefulness and resolution of separation with this technique has not been researched; it requires optimization and ample testing before this can be revealed. Here we present an initial study to determine survivability of two phages, T4 and ϕX174, using only water as a mobile phase in a Spectrum Series 20 HPCCC. Both phages were found to remain active once eluted from the column. Phages do not fully elute from the column and sodium hydroxide is necessary to flush the column between runs to deactivate remaining phages.
- hydrodynamic countercurrent chromatography (hdCCC) and sedimentation field-flow fractionation (sdFFF)