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The Challenge of Re-sensitizing Bacteria Resistant to Broad Spectrum [beta]-Lactam Antibiotics. Nathan Marzonie, University of Michigan--Flint, Department of Biology

[beta]-lactam antibiotics were the first antimicrobics used in medicine and they remain some of the most important. However, the increasing incidence of bacterial resistance to these antibiotics is of great concern. They remain valuable because of their broad spectrum and low toxicity to humans. Recently new, broader spectrum varieties have been developed to solve the problem of increasing resistance to the original [beta]-lactam antibiotics. However, even these new drugs are proving to have questionable importance because bacteria continue to develop resistance to new cephalosporins because of plasmid exchange, lowered binding site affinity, and [beta]-lactamase activity. In addition. the misuse of antibiotics and the increasing incidence of self-medication have increased the incidence of bacterial resistance. This paper will explore the causes and etiology of bacterial resistance. Then, proposed options for new and modified treatments that are effective against resistant bacteria will be explored, including reducing the number of prescriptions, using multi-drug treatments, and administering [beta]-lactams with [beta]-lactamase inhibitors. Lastly, important new research in the area of bacteria re-sensitization will be discussed.

The Nocardia asteroides Complex: Nocardiosis, Treatment and Epidemiological Studies. Adam Butcher, University of Michigan--Flint

Nocardia asteroides is a species of Nocardia that is pathogenic to humans and is typically complexed with two other pathogenic species of Nocardia, N. farcinica and N. nova. N. asteroides belongs to the Actinomycete order of bacteria, the same order as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Corynebacteria diphtheria. Nocardia are associated with a wide range of disease patterns and mostly effects immunocompromised patients. Nocardial infections most commonly cause pulmonary disease, but can also lead to abscesses of the brain, liver, lungs and other organs. This paper will provide a brief characterization of Nocardia asteroides, followed by an explanation of and treatment for nocardiosis, the term for a nocardial infection, before finally analyzing at an outbreak of nocardial infections within a renal transplant ward in order to discuss its epidemiological factors.

Identifying Local Sources of ARGs and Their Effect on Surrounding Microbial Populations. Timothy Keeton and Robin Morrison, Alma College, Department of Biology

Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern in an era of what many consider excessive antibiotic use. Recently, there has been an increased interest in and awareness of the impact that Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAF0s) and other animal waste producers, including municipal sewage treatment plants, have on the environmental distribution of Antibiotic Resistance Genes (ARGs).

ARGs are produced naturally in microorganisms as part of their evolutionary struggle for survival. However, increases in the prevalence of ARGs could have detrimental effects on the human population by limiting the effectiveness of medical treatments. To test whether local CAFOs and/or municipal sewage treatment plants are increasing the occurrence of ARGs in the environment, we follow a multiple step procedure. DNA is extracted from drainage ditch and/or stream sediment samples. The DNA is then analyzed by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), testing for several different Tetracycline Resistance (TetR) genes (TetM, Tet0, TetQ, TetW).

Thus far, we have had some compelling results with multiple positives (TetR genes detected) downstream and multiple negatives (no genes detected) upstream from at least one local source. Currently, we are improving our protocol, in an attempt to strengthen the validity of our initial results.

The Effect of Caffeine on the Bacterial Populations in a Freshwater Aquarium System. (Poster) Adrienne M. Gibson, Alexey G. Nikitin, Roderick M. Morgan, Grand Valley State University, Department of Biology

Caffeine is becoming a common chemical found in the environment but, little research has been done to understand the effects of caffeine in the environment, including dissolved caffeine in aquatic systems. Without understanding the consequences of releasing this drug in the environment, we might not know if it has a negative impact on organisms or their habitats. The goal of this research study was to begin to understand how caffeine may interact with the bacteria of an aquatic environment. The bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas, was the main focus. This bacteria is quite common and plays an important role in the nitrogen cycle. It was found with this study that Pseudomonas shows a dramatic increase in growth when exposed to caffeine, which results in a bio-film like sheen, which appeared on the glass of the experimental aquarium. Along with this sheen, dramatic changes in ammonia concentrations were found. Ammonia is toxic to fish, and can be correlated with the metabolic activity of the Pseudomonas bacteria, making the caffeinated environment toxic for aquatic life.
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Publication:Michigan Academician
Article Type:Author abstract
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2012
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