From Filthy Impure to Functional Cures

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Misty Thomas

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


Antibiotic resistance is a growing issue because of the increased and inappropriate use of them. The ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter species, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis) are a group of deadly pathogens with rapidly growing multi-drug resistant properties and are most common in hospital settings. In order to prevent infection by these organisms, scientists are needing to discover novel drugs and antimicrobial agents to fight against the antibiotic crisis. Previous antibiotics have been attained from soil bacteria, which is why the next antibiotic will most likely come from this source. Here we have isolated antibiotic producing bacteria and used that to evaluate the effects of culture medium on the production of their antibiotics. We hypothesize that culture media does affect the ability of bacteria to produce an antibiotic. Each medium has different nutrients which stress the bacteria in different way to encourage antibiotic production. This project tested how much antibiotic was produced against the ESKAPE pathogen safe relatives on four different types of agar: Luria-Bertani Agar (LBA), Reasoner’s 2A Agar (R2A), Trypticase Soy Agar (TSA) and Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA). The bacteria were obtained through dilutions of soil samples. First, the bacteria were swabbed onto the four culture media. After the bacteria grew, the plates were streaked with the ESKAPE relatives and their ability to produce an antibiotic was assessed by measuring the growth of the amount of antibiotic produced. The soil bacteria were successful at producing antibiotics and their production was dependent upon the type of culture medium used. This is important in understanding how culture medium affects antibiotic production using soil bacteria because the next antibiotic will most likely come from soil. This allows us to create new techniques for the detection and isolation of new antibiotics to fight the antibiotic crisis.

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