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Since the discovery of antibiotics as a tool to be used to further enhance the wellbeing of people and animals, it soon thereafter became a weapon of destruction. As antibiotics started to be mass produced and overused in both medical and agricultural practices, the same bacteria the antibiotics were made to destroy started to build resistance and defy antibiotic treatment. Overtime, an overwhelming number of bacteria have evolved resistance to the currently existing antibiotic drugs. This situation is what scientists refer to as the ‘Antibiotic Resistance Crisis’. Although a known and serious issue, not much action has been taken to address it. Pharmaceutical companies are not investing in new antibiotic research and development, and modern-day agricultural practices continue to excessively utilize antibiotics in their livestock. By doing so, antibiotic resistant genes not only end up in our food, but also in the environment. In this situation, the best solution would be to prolong the life of the current antibiotics and keep them efficient for longer. Investing in strategies that help minimize the number of antibiotic pollution is one of the ways to address the antibiotic resistance crisis. One such method would be composting. This study investigates the effect composting has on the elimination of antibiotic resistant genes over time in each phase of the composting process by sampling multiple piles. The hope was to test for antibiotic resistance in each of the piles, however only the composition of the compost piles can be reported. So far, we have found that all the compost piles are in good condition and will result in good quality compost after maturation. It is predicted that this method of composting will be effective in reducing the number of antibiotic resistance genes overtime as the compost reaches maturity.
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Cabrera, Genesis, "Investigating the Effectiveness of Composting as a Strategy to Decrease Antibiotic Resistance In The Environment" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 9.
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