Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Evidence of Antibiotic Contamination in an Idaho Stream: A Service-Learning Project in Biochemistry Lab

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Ken Cornell and Dr. DeeAnn Force


Bacteria isolated from a stream near Moscow, Idaho exhibited unexpected antibiotic resistance, indicating that the water was contaminated with agricultural waste. A plasmid isolated from the bacteria was sequenced and bioinformatic analysis of open reading frames (ORFs) suggested the presence of broad spectrum beta-lactamases, genes conveying antibiotic resistance. These genes of interest are being isolated, amplified, and over expressed to characterize their substrate specificity and activity. The presence of the plasmid may testify to the environmental impact of antibiotic overuse in industries, such as feedlots and fish hatcheries. Outreach presentations to High School students that emphasize the role of human activity on water quality are planned.