Honors Projects

An Experimental Study of E. coli strains, their Relationship to Phage and its Implications to Antibiotic Resistance

Kaylee Kahl


Antibiotic resistance has grown significantly in the United States and across the globe. Scientists have been searching for a solution to the problem - bacteriophage may just be it. Bacteriophage (phage) are viruses that inhibit bacterial growth through various mechanisms, such as membrane protein degradation. Phage are specific pathogens of bacteria, promising hope for a solution to antibiotic resistance without negatively impacting human health. Enterococci genus is a genus of concern due to their vancomycin resistance with seemingly little biological trade-offs. Escherichia coli will serve as a readily available model to test the success of phage against various strains. This paper compares and contrasts a set of phage and as well as lab-obtained E. coli that have been genetically altered to contain mutations affecting the E. coli protein envelope. The results of this experiment have implications to antibiotic resistance and public health outcomes.