Journal of Undergraduate Research


P. larvae bacteriophages, American Foulbrood, AFB, honeybees


Life Sciences


Microbiology and Molecular Biology


The deadly honey bee disease American Foulbrood (AFB) is caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. The widespread use of antibiotics to prevent or treat AFB has led to many drug-resistant strains of P. larvae. Bacteriophages can target and destroy specific strains of bacteria and can be used to treat bacterial infections. This study accomplished two main goals. We determined the efficacy of previously isolated P. larvae phages as a treatment for AFB by applying a phage spray to infected beehives. We also isolated P. larvae bacteria from the infected hives we treated and identified phages to better counteract a wider variety of local P. larvae strains.

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