Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Research Publications

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First Advisor

Jennifer O’Connor


The Acinetobacter genus is home to a wide range of bacteria that are gram-negative, aerobic, non-motile, oxidase-negative, catalase positive, and coccobacilli with a G+C content of 39 to 47% (Bergogne-Berezin, 1996). These bacteria are universal as they reside in the soil, water, sewage, various surfaces; and are also able to infect humans; however, a majority of the infections are caused by the species Acinetobacter baumannii. This bacterium is the most prevalent etiological cause of the Acinetobacter infections due to it being a nosocomial infection or one that is acquired in a health care setting. The infections that occur in a healthcare environment are typically isolated to intensive care units and other settings with very ill patients.

Our project focused on the discovery and identification of bacteriophage that infected Acinetobacter baylyi. We succeeded in isolating and purifying those phages from soil samples taken on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Our project shows that phages infecting these bacteria may be found in the soil in which they inhabit and if their prevalence in the environment matches that Acinetobacter baylyi, then a great diversity of phage may be present.


RHURP 18-02