Research and Creative Projects

Benjamin Antill
Benjamin Antill

Benjamin Paul Antill

Plasmid-borne Antibiotic Resistance Mechanisms in Ciprofloxacin-resistant Transconjugant Escherichia coli.

Project Description

Antibiotic resistance is a growing global health crisis. Specifically, widely prescribed antibiotics have led to mutations in bacteria leading to mechanisms such as the bacterial efflux pump, target blocking mutations and enzymes that break down antibiotics. These mechanisms prevent antibiotics like ciprofloxacin from stopping DNA replication and killing the cell. Nano-graphene oxide (NGO) and other nano materials have been shown to an effective method of drug delivery in combatting antibiotic resistant bacteria, specifically with the efflux pump mechanism of antibiotic resistance. The molecules of NGO are branched and allow for non-covalent attachment with the antibiotic to overcome the bacterial efflux pumps. The NGO is made biologically compatible and water soluble through the attachment of polyethylene glycol, creating the NGO-PEG attachment. The purpose of this project is to fully understand the mechanism of antibiotic resistance across a spectrum of ciprofloxacin resistant transconjugants, to best determine the full abilities NGO-PEG has in combatting bacterial resistance. These transconjugants contain plasmid DNA from previously isolated wild coliforms that show high resistance to ciprofloxacin. In determining the exact mode of resistance, the interaction of NGO-PEG and nanomaterials in the cell can be better understood and potentially used as a drug delivery method to reduce the strain antibiotic resistant bacteria have on global health.


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Faculty Advisor

Anthony Lobo