Senior Honors Theses

Publication Date

Fall 2009

School

College of Arts and Sciences

Major

Biology; Biology: Molecular Biology

Primary Subject Area

Biology, Cell; Biology, General

Abstract

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that has developed an increasing resistance to antibiotic drugs. This bacterium is very prevalent in hospitals but is becoming more prevalent in community-based settings. The goals of this research are to test the antibiotic sensitivity of two strains of MRSA, discover the proper disinfectants to use in households and hospital settings, and develop and test antibiotic derivatives to determine the future of antibiotic use against this bacterium. Research indicated that each strain was resistant to β-lactam antibiotics as well as other antibiotics. Each strain tested was unique in its resistance against antibiotics, thus proving there is a need to evaluate the proper antibiotic treatment given to patients with MRSA infections. Disinfectants with a low or high pH are more effective than disinfectants with a neutral pH around 7. When testing antibiotic derivatives, this research indicated that compounds that are amphipathic and contain electron-withdrawing groups have the greatest toxicity against MRSA.

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