In recent years bacteriophages were identified as a useful potential tool for different applications such as alternative to antibiotics, detection of pathogenic bacteria, delivery vehicles for protein and DNA vaccines and as gene therapy delivery vehicles. For all listed fields of use it is important that phages are highly purified with preserved biological activity. Phage and other virus purification have traditionally been carried out by CsCl2 density gradient ultracentrifugation, which is however difficult to be scaled-up. An alternative is chromatography, which already proved to be efficient for separation and purification of certain virus types. Methacrylate monoliths (CIM Convective Interaction Media® monolithic columns) were designed for purification of bionanoparticles and they already proved to be very efficient for concentration and purification of several plant and human viruses (influenza A, influenza B, adenovirus type 5, hepatitis A and others).

Our aim was to investigate whether CIM methacrylate monolithic columns can be implemented for purification of phages. Staphylococcus aureus phage VDX-10 was selected. Chromatographic support chemistry and buffer screening led to development of purification method on strong anion exchanger. Optimised single step purification method developed for S. aureus VDX-10 phage on CIM® QA monolithic column resulted in efficient removal of host cell DNA and proteins with high recovery of viable phage.

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Bacteriophages were in recent years identified as a useful potential tool for different biotechnological applications such as alternative to antibiotics, detection of pathogenic bacteria, delivery vehicles for protein and DNA vaccines and as gene therapy delivery vehicles (1). For all listed fields of use it is important that phages are highly purified with preserved biological activity. Phage and other virus purification have traditionally been carried out by CsCl density gradient ultracentrifugation, which is however difficult to be scaled-up. An alternative is chromatography already proved to be efficient for purification and concentration of certain virus types.

One of the key issues using chromatography is processing time and capacity of the resin. Novel type of chromatographic resin named monoliths was already proved to be very efficient for fast separation and purification of macromolecules as are large proteins, DNA and viruses (2,3,4).

Our aim was to investigate whether Convective Interaction Media (CIM) methacrylate monolithic columns can be implemented for purification and concentration of phage T4 (virus for E.coli). Chromatographic method using linear gradient was implemented to investigate conditions for phage elution and to establish the optimized chromatographic method applying step gradient. We analyzed phage recovery and purity together with method reproducibility.

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