Honors Theses


Yvonne Sun, Ph.D.



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Honors Thesis


Bacterial antibiotic resistance is on an alarming rise worldwide, thus posing an urgent threat to human health. The rise in antibiotic resistance can be attributed to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics in both the healthcare and agricultural industries. In order to address this concern, this research aimed to identify environmental conditions that may lead to the development of antibiotic resistance in Listeria monocytogenes. L. monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen capable of causing the disease listeriosis and is especially dangerous for immunocompromised populations. Although infected individuals are treated with antibiotics, an alarmingly high mortality rate of 20 percent still persists; thus, it is important to further understand the impact various environmental conditions may have on the development of antibiotic resistance. L. monocytogenes also comes in contact with diverse environmental conditions within the host, specifically the gastrointestinal lumen which is equipped with an internal chemical barrier that serves to fight off dangerous pathogens such as L. monocytogenes. This chemical barrier is composed of antimicrobial peptides that target invading microbes. Alongside these antimicrobial peptides are fermentation acids such as propionate that are produced by endogenous microbes in the human body. In addition to the body’s natural defense, public health officials incorporate antimicrobial peptides such as nisin to consumer food products in order to reduce the risk of contamination. Thus, this research aims to further understand L. monocytogenes susceptibility to various antimicrobials under different environmental conditions.

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This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes


Undergraduate research



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