Insects respond rapidly to bacterial infection with potent immune molecules called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Some of these peptides have potential to be used in human infections against bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics. My students and I examine a diverse array of insects for the presence of AMPs and test their effectiveness against bacteria.    


Student Researchers

Joey Bakeer - Antibiotic Effects of Hemolymph from Parasitized and Immune Challenged Green Stink Bugs (Chinavia hilaris

Kaitlyn Inman - Detection of Antibacterial Properties in Secretions of Blowfly Lucilia sericata

Jacob Whitney - Antibacterial Assays Using Secretions of Black Soldier Fly Larvae (Hermetia Illucens)

Sawyer Duffey - Evaluation of Estigmene Acrea Immune Response For Antimicrobial Peptides

Stink bug parasitization and E. coli challenge: (A) Two Trichopoda pennipes eggs oviposited onto the dorsal side of Chinavia hilaris. (B) Two T. pennipes eggs oviposited onto the ventral side of C. hilaris.  (C) A live T. pennipes larva that was dissected out of a stink bug 13 d post-oviposition. (D) Melanization of the needle injection site between the second and third body segments on the left, ventral side of a stink bug.

Stink bug parasitization and E. coli challenge: (A) Two Trichopoda pennipes eggs oviposited onto the dorsal side of Chinavia hilaris. (B) Two T. pennipes eggs oviposited onto the ventral side of C. hilaris.  (C) A live T. pennipes larva that was dissected out of a stink bug 13 d post-oviposition. (D) Melanization of the needle injection site between the second and third body segments on the left, ventral side of a stink bug.