- Bacteriophage are viruses that infect bacteria. Phage are specific to the type of bacteria they infect. The mycobacteriophage, which are used as a model, are phage that were isolated using Mycobacterium smegmatis as a host. Some species of Mycobacterium are pathogenic to humans, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium lepera, which cause tuberculosis and leprosy respectively. Many mycobacteriophage that infect M. smegmatis can also infect M. tuberculosis and/or M. lepera. These studies could lead to a greater understanding of the complex nature of mycobacteriophage biology and their potential use in treating disease. Current projects include characterization of temperate mycobacteriophage, designing a method to place phage into clusters based on analysis of structural proteins, and characterizing mycobacteriophage inteins.