Scientists have found some good viruses – tiny needle-like structures that can actually make bacteria, such as Salmonella, explode. Finding these good viruses, called bacteriophages, is important for agriculture. There are many, many implications and applications as scientists find new ways to understand and use phages.

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and university scientists have collected and identified some beneficial viruses that could help control Salmonella bacteria in swine waste lagoons.

The team is ready to test specific phages in controlled laboratory experiments. They want to find out if phages can control Salmonella when the bacteria are mixed in a "cocktail" of various phages.

They will begin testing in clear and clean laboratory solutions. Next, they will test the phages in "worst case water" suspensions, and eventually even more complex filtered effluents. The final tests will test the phages in effluents loaded with particulates and other microbes.