SLS Students Begin Workshop on Antibiotic Resistance

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The School of Life Sciences at IUB began the first part of a multi-part workshop on antibiotic resistance during the summer semester break. The work was conducted by sixteen students over two weeks under the guidance of lecturers Ornob Alam and Zain Omar Ali. As a capacity-building exercise, as well as to generate data on an environmental Enterobacter isolate, students conducted experiments to determine the bacterial growth rate and the minimum inhibitory concentration of an antibiotic against the bacteria. The goal of this work is to induce antibiotic resistance in laboratory bacterial strains using an experimental evolution approach, which is based on selecting for antibiotic resistance by growing the bacteria in sub-lethal concentrations of the antibiotic over many generations. Mutations that confer antibiotic resistance often have a fitness cost. Minimum inhibitory concentrations are used as a measure of resistance against a particular antibiotic, and growth rate is often used as a proxy for fitness. Ultimately, the aim is to evolve antibiotic resistant mutants, measure their fitness over time, and examine persistence of the antibiotic resistance trait under different conditions.  In addition, plaque assays on bacteriophages that infect the environmental Enterobacter bacteria were also conducted. These were collected from the same site as the bacteria.

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