Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Jim O'Mahony

Second Advisor

Dr. Máire Begley


Economic losses that are caused by Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) infections represent a major obstacle for farmers and also for the dairy industry. In order to control the population of MAP, alternative control agents must be investigated. One of the studies described in this thesis focused on using a bacteriophage therapy based approach to assess its efficacy on simulated industrial environments and food models. Another study described in this thesis investigated the antimicrobial effects of parsley and garlic on a range of mycobacteria species. Both studies used conventional microbiological methods such as plaque assays, AlamarBlue assay (MABA) and growth curves, and used fast growing M. smegmatis as a study model. The results of the bacteriophage study indicated that mycobacteriophages have a potential application as antimicrobial agents and could be used against pathogens such as MAP, when applied to any industrial environments and also food models of rocket, milk and water. The results of the plant extract experiments suggested that garlic could be selected for use as a potentially effective anti- mycobacterial agent in foods. These studies concluded that both bacteriophages and plant extracts could be used as natural preservative agents and could provide an alternative to synthetic antimicrobial agents.

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