Characterizing Drug-Resistance Determinants in Gram-negative Bacteria from Blood Stream Infection
The core goal is to identify the origin of antibiotic drug-resistance determinants, with the hypothesis that drug-resistance determinants, in particular integrons carrying gene cassettes coding for drug resistance, from bacteria that is ingested through uncooked food (spinach, animal meat) can horizontally transfer to commensal bacteria in the human intestine, and under selective pressure of antibiotics, and ultimately lead to complicated multi-drug resistant bloodstream or urinary tract infections. Integrons are mobile genetic elements, found on transposons, plasmids and chromosomes that capture and express gene cassettes by site-specific recombination. This summer I will analyze bacteria isolated from bacteremia samples for prevalence of integrons using PCR, sequence and identify gene cassettes using bioinformatics such as BLAST, and compare results with those from spinach and animal studies.
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- Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
- Mentor: Lee Riley, Public Health