Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr.Ramya Rajagopalan

Not required.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

With the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the need for finding new antibiotics is at an all-time high. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were over 2.8 million cases of antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States in 2019 and over 35,000 individuals have died from them. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) accounts for 323,700 of these cases, with 10,600 deaths. MRSA is a common cause of nosocomial infections. Although antibiotics are available to treat MRSA, such as Vancomycin, the possibility remains that these strains are likely to develop a resistance to these compounds as it has done with other antibiotics.

The goal of this project is to test MRSA against various strains of Myxobacteria, to see if we can develop a way for Myxobacteria to succesfully treat MRSA infections. Myxobacteria are predatory bacteria found in soil and produce several antibiotics such as Myxovirescin. Through gliding motility, they are able to move toward prey and release enzymes that aid in predation. We have done predation assays with different Myxobacteria strains preying over MRSA. We have also found that our wild-isolate strains of Myxobacteria show enhanced predatory behavior than lab reference strains. This can be useful in finding a more effective strain to fight MRSA infections.

Due to Myxobacteria’s unique predatory behavior, this can be a breakthrough in fighting antibitoic-resistant bacteria as well as possibly developing a Myxobacteria antibiotic that doesn’t readily lend to the development of antibiotic resistance with continued use. Nosocomial infections have shown to pose a threat in healthcare especially for immunosuppressed patients in healthcare facilities. This research project aims to provide sufficient data and results that can help in fighting this issue, starting with MRSA.

Project Type

Poster

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The Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Crisis: Overcoming Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) by Myxobacterial Predation

With the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the need for finding new antibiotics is at an all-time high. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were over 2.8 million cases of antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States in 2019 and over 35,000 individuals have died from them. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) accounts for 323,700 of these cases, with 10,600 deaths. MRSA is a common cause of nosocomial infections. Although antibiotics are available to treat MRSA, such as Vancomycin, the possibility remains that these strains are likely to develop a resistance to these compounds as it has done with other antibiotics.

The goal of this project is to test MRSA against various strains of Myxobacteria, to see if we can develop a way for Myxobacteria to succesfully treat MRSA infections. Myxobacteria are predatory bacteria found in soil and produce several antibiotics such as Myxovirescin. Through gliding motility, they are able to move toward prey and release enzymes that aid in predation. We have done predation assays with different Myxobacteria strains preying over MRSA. We have also found that our wild-isolate strains of Myxobacteria show enhanced predatory behavior than lab reference strains. This can be useful in finding a more effective strain to fight MRSA infections.

Due to Myxobacteria’s unique predatory behavior, this can be a breakthrough in fighting antibitoic-resistant bacteria as well as possibly developing a Myxobacteria antibiotic that doesn’t readily lend to the development of antibiotic resistance with continued use. Nosocomial infections have shown to pose a threat in healthcare especially for immunosuppressed patients in healthcare facilities. This research project aims to provide sufficient data and results that can help in fighting this issue, starting with MRSA.