Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type



Life & Environmental Sciences


Bacteriophages provide a relatively new area of scientific research. Approximately 1031 viruses on earth are capable of infecting bacteria and thereafter disseminating. Despite their widespread and pervasive nature, bacteriophages have been relatively unstudied. Not only do they provide a new class of organism but they also present potential usefulness to humans, including within the medical field. Bacteriophages represent a new tool in medicine’s ever-developing fight against bacterial infections. Notably, bacteriophages may offer a new weapon to battle infections that have developed resistance to multiple antibiotics. The prospect of bacteriophage use against infectious processes will require significant research which begins with a basic understanding of structure and function of the phages themselves.