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Bacteria have steadily developed defenses against antibiotics since the world’s first fleet of antibacterial drugs was introduced. One strategy that bacteria can use to become multi-drug resistant involves the use of large, membrane-embedded efflux pumps, such as the AcrAB-TolC pump found in Escherichia coli (E. coli) and other Gram-negative bacteria cells. The most antibiotic-resistant cells are those which over-express the genes that code for this large efflux pump, and this gives the bacterium the capability of transporting a wide variety of compounds out of the cell, including antibiotics that we use to combat bacterial infections. The overexpression of these bacterial efflux pumps renders our antibiotics ineffective. To combat this antibiotic-resistance strategy, I will be analyzing plant extracts to identify new compounds that can block the activity of bacterial efflux pumps and restore the effectiveness of existing antibiotics. Fourteen roots, shoots, fruits, seeds, and leaves will be tested using a fluorescence-based efflux assay and any extracts that show inhibitory activity will be analyzed so that the active compound can be identified. This research could open up a new avenue in the treatment of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.
Matthew E Lopper
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
"Combating Antibiotic Resistance in Multidrug Resistant Bacterial Cells using Plant Derived Inhibitory Compounds" (2018). Stander Symposium Posters. 1334.