Identifying Antibiotic Producing Microbes


Identifying Antibiotic Producing Microbes



Veronica K West


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



Antibiotics were first discovered accidentally in 1928 and then purposefully synthesized to help combat bacterial infections. In the relatively short time since their discovery, many bacterial species have developed resistance mechanisms to these antibiotics. Due to the ability of pathogens to rapidly proliferate, beneficial mutations to increase their fitness in their environment have helped pathogens respond to antibiotics relatively quickly. The importance of discovering novel antibiotics to combat resistant strains is increasingly important. The Small World Initiative utilizes student researchers across the world to isolate new antibiotics to combat the intensifying antibiotic resistance dilemma. The goal of this research is to use bacteria isolated from soil to test their antibiotic producing abilities against a variety of previously known antibiotic resistant pathogens, termed ESKAPE pathogens. The gram-positive pathogen, Enterococcus faecium, specifically demonstrates antibiotic susceptibility to a few of the soil isolates. The susceptibility is confirmed by zones of inhibition which indicate that the isolate is producing antibiotics to which E. faecium is not yet resistant. The isolates that exhibit antimicrobial activity against the pathogens will be identified through a process of Gram staining, catalase testing, and other biochemical tests. The purpose of these tests is to identify new antibiotics that can be used to help combat antibiotic resistant pathogens.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Erica Marie Rinehart, Yvonne Y. Sun

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Identifying Antibiotic Producing Microbes