Faculty Advisor

Samina Akbar Ph.D

Document Type


Publication Date



Medicine and Health Sciences


Multiple drug resistance is becoming increasingly problematic in the U.S., where antibiotics are overused both in agriculture and healthcare. One way bacteria can develop this resistance is through acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes, either on their chromosomes or on plasmids. A plasmid is an autonomous extrachromosomal DNA structure that replicates independently of the bacterial chromosome. Plasmids can be horizontally spread across different bacterial species through conjugation, transformation, or transduction, allowing multiple bacteria the ability to select for a resistant, advantageous phenotype. Salmonella infects around 400,000 people a year. Children, elderly, and the immunocompromised are the most at risk. Recent Salmonella and Escherichia coli clinical isolates have been found to carry antibiotic resistance plasmids. This limits treatment options even for healthy individuals. Salmonella, like other members of the Enterobacteriaceae family, have been found to carry more than one type of beta-lactamase genes, such as the blaCMY2 gene or blaCTX-M gene. To determine if horizontal transfer of these plasmids is possible, two different E. coli lab isolates were transformed with plasmids from Salmonella clinical isolates. The goal of the current project is to isolate these plasmids and analyze them for their incompatibility groups and their antibiotic resistance profiles. Using an extraction kit specifically designed for larger plasmids, isolates were analyzed in order to form a more complete picture of the Inc plasmids found in the E. coli strains. Moving forward these plasmids can now be further analyzed to determine what specific antibiotic resistance each plasmid carries. This study will advance our knowledge concerning the development and dissemination of multiple antimicrobial resistance among Salmonella spp. and other enteric bacteria in nature.


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