Honors Projects


Leila OswaltFollow


The misuse and overuse of antibiotics has led to the intense rise in antibiotic resistance. As society transitions into the post antibiotic era, there will be a great need for new therapeutic strategies to address multiple drug resistant bacterial infections. One such method, called bacteriophage therapy, allows for specific targeting of certain pathogenic bacteria through the use of viruses that attack bacteria; termed “bacteriophage” or simply “phage”. Urinary tract infections are among the most common pathological human infections that rely heavily on the use of antibiotics, the major cause of which is the bacterium Escherichia coli. During the Spring 2021-Spring 2022 semesters, I evaluated an existing set of E. coli-specific phage isolated by the Larsen lab from environmental sources and also isolated new phage that target various strains of wild-type and laboratory-adapted E. coli. These isolates were also screened against the uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) strain, CFT073, a well-established model research organism. None of the phage isolates were determined to inhibit the growth of the CFT073 strain. I also wrote a book during the Fall 2022 semester, aimed at a third to fourth grade audience. Through this study and future publication of my children’s book, I hope to add to the plethora of literature surrounding phage therapy in order to ensure the protection of public health despite the upsurge in antibiotic resistant bacteria.



First Advisor

Raymond Larsen

First Advisor Department

Biological Sciences

Second Advisor

Abigail Cloud

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date