The efficacy of sewage influent-isolated bacteriophages on Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a mixed-species biofilm

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Environmental Science and Engineering
Biocorrosion; Phages; Biofilm; Seawater; Pseudomonas aeruginosa
thesis / dissertation description
The growth of environmentally persistent biofilms in cooling towers causes several associated problems, including microbiologically-induced corrosion (MIC) and biofouling. Current chemical control methods are not only ineffective against biofilms and costly to procure, they also have downstream environmental impacts when released untreated, or incur additional treatment costs. Bacteriophages are alternative biofilm control agents that have the potential to be more effective, cheaper to produce and yet have a more benign effect on the environment. In this study, biofilms grown under conditions simulating seawater fed cooling towers were characterized and the differences in growth and community make-up across time and different substrates were assessed. An MIC associated bacterium common in cooling tower water, P. aeruginosa, was chosen. Seven bacteriophage strains found to be effective against the chosen bacterium were isolated from wastewater influent. The relative effectiveness of these strains was measured against P. aeruginosa across different salinities. Separate biofilms fed with P. aeruginosa enriched seawater were characterized and the effectiveness of the isolated strains, singly and in cocktails, against the enriched biofilms was measured.