Date of Award

Spring 4-18-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Alejandro Barbieri

Abstract

Antibiotic resistance has emerged as a severe problem in hospital-acquired infectious disease. The Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is found to cause secondary infection in immune-compromised patients. Unfortunately, it is resistant to virtually all β-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin, cephalosporin and others. Researchers are seeking for new compounds to treat several antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Artemisia plant extracts are commonly used for their therapeutic properties by natives throughout dry regions of North and South America. Here, they are administered as an alternative medicine for stomach problems and other complex health issues. In this study, the antimicrobial effects of plant extracts from several Artemisia species as well as compounds dehydroleucodine and dehydroparishin-B (sesquiterpenes derived specifically from A. douglasiana) were used as treatments against the pathogenicity effects of P. aeruginosa. Results showed that both compounds effectively inhibit the secretion of LasB elastase, biofilm formation and type III secretion, but fail to control LasA protease. This is a significant observation because these virulent factors are crucial in establishing P.aeruginosa infection. The results from this study signify a plausible role for future alternative therapy in the biomedical field, which recommends DhL and DhP can be studied as key compounds against bacterial infections of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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