Date of Submission

Spring 2018

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing; Biology

Project Advisor 1

Brooke Jude

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with toxigenic forms of the gram-negative bacterium, Vibrio cholerae (Faruque et al. 1998).This particular infectious disease is characterized by immoderate diarrhea and vomiting, leading to the rapid loss of bodily fluids. Severe cases often lead to dehydration, hypovolemic shock, and death in 50 to 70 percent of untreated patients (Faruque et al. 1998). While antibiotics and oral rehydration treatments (ORT) are both effective in treating cholera, administering or accessing these treatments can be a challenge in settings where resources are limited. Consequently, cholera continues to be a public health threat, regularly confronting residents of underdeveloped regions who live insuboptimal sanitary conditions. Such conditions include but are not limited to: poor sanitation, lack of healthcare, limited basic health infrastructure, water scarcity, andovercrowding. Thus, cholera outbreaks are a clear indicator of inadequate social development. Prevention of Vibrio cholerae growth in cooked rice via lime juice has proven to be an accessible and affordable preventative measure for cholera, reducing cholera-related deaths in impoverished regions. In this study, I investigate the mechanism responsible for Vibrio cholerae intolerance to lime as well as the extension of this phenomenon into other bacterial species. My results demonstrate that the acidic properties of lime juice are responsible for the observed cholera killing in rice, and is specific to the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Investigating the relationship between acidity and bacteria intolerance may be crucial in developing more accessible therapeutics to some of the numerous bacterial infections that occur in these regions. I suggest future studies investigate different strains of Escherichia coli, as well as other types of bacteria.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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