Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr.Kalai Mathee

Abstract

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an ubiquitous Gram-negative opportunistic pathogen that is commonly found in nosocomial infections, immunocompromised patients and burn victims. In addition, P. aeruginosa colonizes the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, leading to chronic infection, which inevitably leads to their demise. In this research, I analyzed the factors contributing to P. aeruginosa antibiotic resistance, such as the biofilm mode of growth, alginate production, and 13-lactamase synthesis. Using the biofilm eradication assay (MBECâ„¢ assay), I exposed P. aeruginosa to B-lactams (piperacillin, ceftazidime, and cefotaxime ), aminoglycosides ( amikacin, tobramycin and gentamicin), and a fluoroquinolone ( ciprofloxacin) at various concentrations. I analyzed the effects of biofilm on P. aeruginosa antibiotic resistance, and confirmed that the parent strain PAO 1 biofilms cells were > 100 times more resistant than planktonic (freefloating) cells. The constitutively alginate-producing strain PDO300 exhibited an altered resistance pattern as compared to the parent strain P AO 1. Finally, the role of AmpR, the regulator of ampC-encoded 13-lactamase expression was analyzed by determining the resistance of the strain carrying a mutation in the ampR gene and compared to the parent strain PAOl. It was confirmed that the loss of ampR contributes to increased antibiotic resistance.

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