Author

Alec Allain

Date of Award

2018

First Advisor

David Myers

Second Advisor

Donald McClelland

Abstract

The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis is becoming one of the greatest public health threats of this century. Due to overuse, inappropriate use, and the lack of new antibiotic drugs, bacterial infections are becoming harder to treat. One solution to this problem is turning toward ethnobotany to discover new antibiotics. In this thesis, I analyzed the antibacterial activity of the methanol leaf extracts of Jatropha gossypifolia L., Eupatorium odoratum L., and Carica papaya L. against Staphylococcus aureus R. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa S. using the Kirby-Bauer Disk Diffusion Method. I then used Gas-Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) to do a phytochemical analysis of the J. gossypifolia extract. The main components identified were Globulol, Sitosterol, and possibly a pentacyclic triterpenoid, saponin. Looking to the future, we need to act now to counteract the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis. We can do this by discovering new antibiotics, using fewer antibiotics, and using them appropriately. If we don’t act now, millions will die, and all progress we have made to treat bacterial infections will be erased.

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