2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) Symposium

Location

Ballroom, Maucker Student Union, University of Northern Iowa

Presentation Type

Open Access Poster Presentation

Document Type

poster

Abstract

Bacteriophages (‘phages’) dominate the microbial world around us, especially in soils. Phages are viruses specific to certain bacteria, including the common soil inhabitants Bacillus cereus and B. anthracis, two ‘gram-positive’ spore-forming bacteria. Bacillus anthracis differs from B. cereus in that it causes anthrax, a deadly disease of cattle. It was also used as a biological weapon. Our lab examines phages with potential as therapeutics or protectants against B. anthracis and anthrax, including ‘phage therapy’, the use of phages against bacterial diseases. Phages suitable for therapy or protection would have to be stable under a wide variety of storage, transport and application conditions. We examine the physical durability of soil phages to withstand exposure to or incubation with a series of challenging conditions, including higher temperatures, filtration, aerosolization and exposure to ultraviolet light, blood & perspiration, and sunlight. We track the changes in phage numbers at each treatment and use the series of treatments to select for phages displaying stability through all conditions.

Start Date

30-7-2021 11:30 AM

End Date

30-7-2021 1:15 PM

Event Host

Summer Undergraduate Research Program, University of Northern Iowa

Faculty Advisor

Michael H. Walter

Department

Department of Biology

File Format

application/pdf

Available for download on Tuesday, November 01, 2022

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Jul 30th, 11:30 AM Jul 30th, 1:15 PM

Selecting for Durability in Bacillus cereus/anthracis Bacteriophages

Ballroom, Maucker Student Union, University of Northern Iowa

Bacteriophages (‘phages’) dominate the microbial world around us, especially in soils. Phages are viruses specific to certain bacteria, including the common soil inhabitants Bacillus cereus and B. anthracis, two ‘gram-positive’ spore-forming bacteria. Bacillus anthracis differs from B. cereus in that it causes anthrax, a deadly disease of cattle. It was also used as a biological weapon. Our lab examines phages with potential as therapeutics or protectants against B. anthracis and anthrax, including ‘phage therapy’, the use of phages against bacterial diseases. Phages suitable for therapy or protection would have to be stable under a wide variety of storage, transport and application conditions. We examine the physical durability of soil phages to withstand exposure to or incubation with a series of challenging conditions, including higher temperatures, filtration, aerosolization and exposure to ultraviolet light, blood & perspiration, and sunlight. We track the changes in phage numbers at each treatment and use the series of treatments to select for phages displaying stability through all conditions.