Frances Resweber, Becca Collings
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Dave Wessner
Bacteriophage are a type of virus that infects a host bacterium, such as E. coli, and reproduces by taking over the host cell’s machinery to replicate its genome. In the study, E. coli strains isolated from Davidson students by Mary Catherine McKeithen in 2017 were inoculated with sewage from a treatment plant in Mecklenburg County. This inoculation resulted in the ability to isolate bacteriophage present in the sewage which were amplified in an attempt to determine titer and virulence of the isolated bacteriophage. In addition to virulent bacteriophage isolated from different strains of E. coli, we found that several strains of E. coli to be resistant to the infection by bacteriophage. This knowledge is useful moving forward as we can analyze the characteristics of the different bacteriophage to better understand the varying infectious abilities of bacteriophage.