Aims: To isolate phages against extensively drug resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (XDRAB) and characterize the highest lytic capability phage as a model to evaluate the potential on phage therapy. Methods and Results: Eight phages were isolated from hospital sewage and showed narrow host spectrum. Phage φkm18p was able to effectively lyse the most XDRAB. It has a dsDNA genome of 45 kb in size and hexagonal head of about 59 nm in diameter and no tail. Bacterial population decreased quickly from 108 CFU ml-1 to 103 CFU ml-1 in 30 min by φkm18p. The 185 kDa lysis protein encoded by φkm18p genome was detected when the extracted protein did not boil before SDS-PAGE; it showed that the lysis protein is a complex rather than a monomer. Phage φkm18p improved human lung epithelial cells survival rates when they were incubated with A. baumannii. Combination of phages (φkm18p, φTZ1 and φ314) as a cocktail could lyse all genotype-varying XDRAB isolates. Conclusion: Infections with XDRAB are extremely difficult to treat and development of a phage cocktails therapy could be a therapeutic alternative in the future. Phage φkm18p is a good candidate for inclusion in phage cocktails.
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