Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological Sciences


Biological Science

First Committee Member

Penny S. Amy

Second Committee Member

Brian Hedlund

Third Committee Member

Helen Wing

Fourth Committee Member

Elisabeth Hausrath

Number of Pages



American foulbrood disease is a destructive honeybee illness cause by the bacterial pathogen, Paenibacillus larvae. Current methods of treatment are either destructive or do not completely eradicate the infection, and as such, undertaking further research to determine the effectiveness of alternate treatment methods is of consequence.

The therapeutic use of bacteriophage that are capable of lysing host bacterial cells, or phage therapy, is one such potential treatment. Phage are viruses that infect bacteria, and are generally very host-specific. As such, targeting a pathogen would require obtaining phage specific for P. larvae. Therefore, obtaining P. larvae phage requires screening environmental samples likely to have phage capable of infecting P. larvae, enriching samples with P. larvae, isolating any phage present, and characterizing the phage. After host range characterization, the phage with the broadest host ranges of P. larvae strains but inability to target other species of bacteria would be selected for use in a multi-phage cocktail. This cocktail would be used in experimental treatments to determine the effectiveness of phage therapy in increasing survival of honeybee larvae infected with P. larvae and eradication of AFB in an infected honeybee hive.


American foulbrood; Bacterial diseases; Bacterial diseases—Treatment; Bacteriophages; Bees—Diseases; Paenibacillus





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Microbiology Commons