Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Virus Evolution





Publisher Name

Oxford University Press


Filamentous phages establish chronic infections in their bacterial hosts, and new phages are secreted by infected bacteria for multiple generations, typically without causing host death. Often, these viruses integrate in their host’s genome by co-opting the host’s XerCD recombinase system. In several cases, these viruses also encode genes that increase bacterial virulence in plants and animals. Here, we describe a new filamentous phage, UPϕ901, which we originally found integrated in a clinical isolate of Escherichia coli from urine. UPϕ901 and closely related phages can be found in published genomes of over 200 other bacteria, including strains of Citrobacter koseri, Salmonella enterica, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Its closest relatives are consistently found in urine or in the blood and feces of patients with urinary tract infections. More distant relatives can be found in isolates from other environments, including sewage, water, soil, and contaminated food. Each of these phages, which we collectively call ‘UPϕ viruses’, also harbors two or more novel genes of unknown function.


Author Posting © The Authors, 2020. This article is posted here by permission of The Authors for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Virus Evolution, Volume 6, Issue 1, January 2020,

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.