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The rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance is an increasing global threat that will require an extensive response to combat its increasing severity, including the discovery of new antibiotics. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small molecular peptides that play a critical role in hosts’ defenses against bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Because their properties allow them to target pathogenic bacteria’s cellular membrane and intracellular components, AMPs are seen as possible alternatives to traditional antibiotics. However, the AMP vancomycin functions by targeting the cell wall synthesis of pathogenic bacteria, making it ineffective against Gram-negative bacteria. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a versatile, ubiquitous Gram-negative pathogen that causes severe acute and chronic infections in hospital and healthcare facilities alike.
The aim of this study was to determine if vancomycin had an effect on P. aeruginosa growth and if strain sensitivity was dependent on niche. We used broth microdilution to test 46 strains of P. aeruginosa against 5 different concentrations of vancomycin. We utilized the EUCAST standardization to gain S, I, R values to determine strain sensitivity in 6 different bacterial niches. Means comparison tests were used to compare bacterial carrying capacity and growth velocity to concentrations. Contingency analysis was performed to observe the associations between niche and strain sensitivity frequency. Our statistical analysis revealed that vancomycin had a significant effect on P. aeruginosagrowth; statistical analysis also revealed that niche did not have a significant effect on strain sensitivity. However, a relationship between niche and resistant strains was observed. The continuation of AMP research is necessary to completely understand vancomycin’s mechanisms of action and maximize vancomycin’s full therapeutic abilities to treat antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
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Randall, Gillian Lee, "Antimicrobial Peptides as Alternatives: Investigating the Impact of Vancomycin on Pseudomonas aeruginosa" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 27.
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