Creating a procedural control for the detection of methicillin--resistance in S. aureus. (Senior Division).
Antibiotic resistance in microbes, specifically resistance of
Staphylococcus aureus to methicillin, is an increasing problem in
hospitals. For example, the prevalence of methicillin resistance in S.
aureus infections has increased from 2% in 1970 to roughly 50% today.
Critical care patients are at the most risk for contracting staph that
is resistant to methicillin, called MRSA. Therefore, it is important to
have a test to monitor the presence of MRSA in the hospital setting. At
Thermo Biostar, a test has been developed to measure the presence of a
gene, mec A, responsible for methicillin in Staphylococcus aureus. The
test is highly specific for measuring MRSA. Also the test is rapid and
provides a visual result; instrumentation is not needed. This experiment
consists of creating a positive control spot for the MRSA detection
assay, this is to make sure that when testing for this particular strain
of bacteria, the test is performed accurately. Chips of modified
silicon, coated with two different DNA capture sequences were created.
One DNA sequence is used to immobilize the mec A gene which is
simultaneously hybridizing to detect DNA sequences in solution. The
other captures the DNA sequence which contains part of the mec A gene
that is recognized by the detector DNA sequence, thereby serving as a
positive control for hybridization.
Alex Grimes, New Vista High School.