The Effect of Heat on the Physicochemical Properties of Bacteriophage MS2

Abstract : The differences in physicochemical characteristics between infectious and non-infectious viral particles are poorly known. Even for heat, which is known as one of the most efficient treatments to inactivate enteric viruses, the global inactivation mechanisms have not been described yet. Such knowledge would help distinguish between both types of particles and therefore clarify the interpretation of the presence of viral genomes in food after heat treatment. In this study, we examined in particular the differences in electrostatic charge and hydrophobicity between the two particle types. MS2 phage, a common surrogate for enteric viruses, was used as a model virus. The heat-induced inactivation process of the infectious phages caused hydrophobic domains to be transiently exposed and their charge to become less negative. The particles also became progressively permeable to small molecules such as SYPRO Orange dye. The presence of non-infectious phage particles in which the genome was not accessible to RNases has been clearly demonstrated. These observations were done for MS2 phages exposed to a temperature of 60 °C. When exposed to a temperature higher than their critical temperature (72 °C), the particles were disrupted and the genome became available for RNases. At lower temperatures, 60 °C in this study, the transient expression of hydrophobic domains of remaining infectious phages appeared as an interesting parameter for improving their specific detection.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-01802455
Contributor : Isabelle Bertrand <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 12:07:33 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 3:22:04 PM

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Adrien Brié, Isabelle Bertrand, Marie Meo, Nicolas Boudaud, Christophe Gantzer. The Effect of Heat on the Physicochemical Properties of Bacteriophage MS2. Food and Environmental Virology, Springer, 2016, 8 (4), pp.251 - 261. ⟨10.1007/s12560-016-9248-2⟩. ⟨hal-01802455⟩

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