Using Food Products to Combat Antibiotic Resistance


Using Food Products to Combat Antibiotic Resistance




Antibiotic resistance is a rising epidemic in modern-day healthcare. Numerous strains of bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics, resulting in thousands of deaths worldwide. There are two types of resistance: specific drug resistance and multidrug resistance. Multidrug resistance can be caused by a tripartite protein complex known as an efflux pump that penetrates the inner and outer membranes of the bacterial cell and allows the cell to eliminate waste to the cell’s extracellular environment. In E. coli, one of the major efflux pumps is known as AcrAB-TolC. The goal of this research project is to inactivate the AcrAB-TolC pump via organic compounds extracted from plants. I hypothesize that these natural, organic compounds will block the activity of this pump and prevent antibiotic resistance. To test this hypothesis, I extracted organic compounds from food products and tested them for efflux pump inhibitory activity using a fluorescence-based efflux assay. The results of these experiments demonstrate that an extract of the herb, dill, inhibits the efflux function of the AcrAB-TolC pump in E. coli.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Matthew E Lopper

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster


Presenter: Madie O'Brien Clements

Using Food Products to Combat Antibiotic Resistance