Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

Dr. Patrick R. Secor

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Division of Biological Sciences

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a pathogenic bacterium commonly found in hospital acquired infections. P. aeruginosa infections often evolve antibiotic resistance. It is known that clinical isolates from P. aeruginosa infections contain high concentrations of filamentous Pf bacteriophage. We hypothesize that P. aeruginosa infections that are infected with Pf phage will have greater resistance to antibiotics. This is because Pf phage are known to be negatively charged, while commonly used aminoglycoside antibiotics such as tobramycin are positively charged. Thus, the negatively charged phage attracts the positively charged antibiotics and draws the antibiotic away from the bacteria, allowing them to survive. To test this hypothesis, we will grow P. aeruginosa in a vertical container holding layered LB, each with a tenfold increase in Tobramycin concentration. We will compare the ability of cultures with and without phage infections to evolve antibiotic resistance and grow into the regions of the tube with antibiotics. We expect the cultures containing Pf phage to grow into antibiotic layers at a greater speed due to the shielding effects of the Tobramycin. Understanding the interactions between infectious phage and antibiotics will allow more effective use of antibiotics as a treatment against P. aeruginosa infections in patients.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 17th, 9:40 AM Apr 17th, 10:00 AM

Infection with bacteriophage impacts the evolution of antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

UC 327

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a pathogenic bacterium commonly found in hospital acquired infections. P. aeruginosa infections often evolve antibiotic resistance. It is known that clinical isolates from P. aeruginosa infections contain high concentrations of filamentous Pf bacteriophage. We hypothesize that P. aeruginosa infections that are infected with Pf phage will have greater resistance to antibiotics. This is because Pf phage are known to be negatively charged, while commonly used aminoglycoside antibiotics such as tobramycin are positively charged. Thus, the negatively charged phage attracts the positively charged antibiotics and draws the antibiotic away from the bacteria, allowing them to survive. To test this hypothesis, we will grow P. aeruginosa in a vertical container holding layered LB, each with a tenfold increase in Tobramycin concentration. We will compare the ability of cultures with and without phage infections to evolve antibiotic resistance and grow into the regions of the tube with antibiotics. We expect the cultures containing Pf phage to grow into antibiotic layers at a greater speed due to the shielding effects of the Tobramycin. Understanding the interactions between infectious phage and antibiotics will allow more effective use of antibiotics as a treatment against P. aeruginosa infections in patients.