Testing Soil Microbes for Antibiotic Production
The discovery of antibiotics revolutionized medicine by making dangerous bacterial infections and diseases easily treatable. Life expectancies climbed in part due to the ease of treatment for diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, diseases that for centuries were practically a death sentence. Furthermore, antibiotics decreased the risk of post-surgery infections, allowing doctors to develop more sophisticated surgical procedures that extended the average human life expectancy even further. However, these advances are at risk as the pathogens that antibiotics once easily controlled are rapidly evolving resistance to antibiotics due to their widespread overuse and misuse. Antibiotic-resistant infections exact a high price both to human life and to the economy, and experts in medicine, microbiology, economics, and other fields predict that these costs will only increase unless immediate action is taken. This study's purpose is to isolate antibiotic compounds that may be used to create antibiotics to which bacterial pathogens are not resistant. This research cultured on various media the bacteria in soil samples from Church Farm, Ashford, CT. This study utilized morphology to characterize the bacterial isolates and tested them for antibiotic activity against non-pathogenic bacteria.
Faculty Mentor: Barbara Murdoch