7. The Good, the Bad, the E. coli: A Prevalence Study of Antibiotic Resistance Genes of Escherichia coli in the Waterways of Northwest Ohio

Olivia Hatton The University of Findlay, Sarah Klass The University of Findlay, Kathryn Kelly The University of Findlay, Grace Lemon The University of Findlay, Zachary Wildman The University of Findlay, Kayla Grau The University of Findlay, Leandra Hess The University of Findlay, Rebekah Gollihue The University of Findlay, Madalyn Fletcher The University of Findlay
Faculty Sponsor(s): Robert Charvat The University of Findlay
Antibiotic resistance among bacteria is growing into a major concern as recent studies have reported there is at least one strain of bacteria that is resistant to every class of antibiotic currently in use. There are many reasons for this rise in antibiotic resistance, most, if not all, are anthropogenic in nature. The proposed purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of Escherichia coli that have acquired antibiotic resistance genes in the Blanchard River watershed. Escherichia coli will be isolated from water samples collected from the Blanchard River and its tributaries; DNA will be extracted and subjected to PCR and electrophoretic analysis to determine the presence of seven possible antibiotic resistance genes. Preliminary results suggest that genes related to tetracycline resistance are the most prevalent in the Blanchard River watershed. Detection of antibiotic resistance genes in this aquatic environment may indicate agricultural practices and improper disposal of antibiotics are influencing the evolution of resistant bacterial populations. In addition, a correlative analysis will be done to determine whether E. coli and resistance genes are clustered in the watershed and how specific features of the landscape, including location of livestock farms and sewage treatment plants, influence the location of these clusters. This study will provide the first extensive analysis of antibiotic resistance in E. coli within the NW Ohio waterways. This information may be used to encourage the community to use antibiotics appropriately in hopes of diminishing the increase and spread of potentially resistant bacteria.
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Poster Presentation

When & Where

Irwin Library Lower Level