Date of Submission

Fall 2023

Academic Program

Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing; Biology

Project Advisor 1

Brooke Jude

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are naturally occurring environmental microbes primarily originating in water and soil. The prevalence of infections caused by NTM has grown significantly over the last 20 years and has prompted research into their consequential nature when infecting humans. These opportunistic bacteria cause illnesses such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and other airway-impacting diseases, leading to further damage to the airways and lungs. Their problematic occurrence in healthcare facility sources such as shower heads, humidifiers, respiratory machines, and heater-cooler devices have led to healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) motivating researchers to better understand their biofilm formation in various settings. This study aims to observe the biofilm formation of a clinical isolate termed ABSURDO, which exhibited three colony morphotypes. The results of a biofilm assay can give insight into the biofilm formation of NTM clinical isolates and further reveal the properties of this pathogenic bacteria. The findings of this study showed in one of the replicates, a significant difference between all three colony morphotypes and the control bacteria, which aligned with our hypothesized results.

Future research on the effects of NTM growth may be done by understanding environmental stressors that exacerbate or diminish biofilm, which can be done through the introduction of nicotine, hydrogen peroxide, or other components known to induce oxidative stress. Other studies have introduced material differences in where bacteria form their biofilms, which can be explored further as well.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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