Date of Submission

Fall 2023

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Gabriel Perron

Project Advisor 2

Michael Tibbetts

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The accumulation of greenhouse gases has led to a robust forecast of global temperature escalation, supported by compelling evidence spanning the past 50 to 100 years, indicating a warming trend on the planet (Ebi et al., 2021). Projections suggest that global morbidity due to antimicrobial resistance could surge to 10 million cases by 2050. While bacterial resistance to antibiotics is predominantly attributed to the selective pressure exerted by antibiotic use, additional factors may contribute to the upsurge in antibiotic resistance among microbial populations, with climate change being a notable factor. In a 2018 study, Derek MacFadden investigated the influence of local climate temperatures on antibiotic resistance in the United States, revealing a positive correlation between rising temperatures and increased antibiotic resistance in common pathogens (MacFadden et al., 2018). Specifically, a temperature increase of 10°C was associated with a 4.2% rise in antibiotic resistance for Escherichia coli and a 2.2% increase for Klebsiella pneumoniae. This research also showed that associations between temperature and antibiotic resistance were consistent across most classes of antibiotics and pathogens and continue to strengthen over time. With temperature being a key factor that affects the survival of bacteria in the presence of antibiotics, it is important to understand and analyze the interactions between temperature and antibiotic resistance (Rodríguez-Verdugo et al. 2020). ESKAPE pathogens` Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species) are the leading cause of nosocomial infections throughout the world (Santajit and Indrawattana 2016). The majority of these pathogens present as multidrug-resistant isolates, constituting a significant challenge in clinical practice (Santajit and Indrawattana, 2016). Their exceptional ability to elude conventional treatments and pose critical healthcare challenges arises from possessing resistance mechanisms against multiple classes of antibiotics. In this era of climate change and rising temperatures, it is therefore important to understand the interactions and effects of temperature on the antibiotic susceptibility and resistance of these deadly pathogens. In an attempt to better understand the interaction of temperature and antibiotic resistance, I devised a research study examining the impact of temperature on the antibiotic susceptibility of three distinct ESKAPE pathogens. Employing varying temperatures (25°C, 37°C, and 42°C) and distinct antibiotics from different classes (Amikacin, Cefotaxime, and Levofloxacin), I adhered to EUCAST standards of Antibiotic Susceptibility testing, conducting disk diffusion assays and deriving conclusions and results from the Zones of Inhibition.

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