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Biofilms are slimy substances made up of bacteria that attach to surfaces. Biofilms can be found in natural settings (rocks in streams) and man-made environments (hospital catheters, pipelines). Biofilms are also found in aviation fuel tanks, causing physical issues such as clogging in fuel lines and changing the chemical makeup of the fuel via bacterial metabolism. Bacterial viruses, known as phage, show potential for reducing biofilms through phage therapy. The goal is to find a phage or combination of phage with a broad host range that would be most effective in reducing the biofilms of bacteria isolated from fuel tanks. Known phages UT1, SN-T, and PEV2 will be tested against these biofilms, both individually and in combination. Biofilms will be assayed for biomass (crystal violet staining) and colony-forming units (CFU) in the presence of phage or combination of phages to determine the amount of biofilm reduction.

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Honors Thesis

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Jayne B. Robinson

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Examination of Host Range of Pseudomonas aeruginosa phages UT1, SN-T, and PEV@ for Treatment of Bacterial Biofilms in Fuels