Honors Theses


Matthew Lopper



Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


The advent of antimicrobial therapy occurred over fifty years ago; however, overuse of antibiotics coupled with the stagnation of novel therapies has caused an alarming inability to treat infectious disease. Today, bacteria possess a versatile toolbox of multi-drug resistance (MDR) mechanisms which has challenged modern medicine. One of the mechanisms utilized by bacteria is the over-expression of membrane spanning proteins known as efflux pumps (EPs). The over-expression of EPs prevents antibiotics from reaching lethal concentrations within the cell. The investigation of plants, a highly unexplored natural resource, may deliver newfound compounds effective in the inhibition of EPs. An ethidium bromide (EtBr) efflux assay and growth curve analysis were performed to screen plant extracts for potential inhibitory activity against an EP system expressed in E. coli. Efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs) in conjunction with existing antibiotics may ultimately provide a refined approach of therapy against resistant pathogenic bacteria, especially in Gram-negative strains.

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Undergraduate research

Embargoed until Sunday, June 23, 2120