Most disinfectants advertise that they work effectively against 99% of bacteria. While many might think this claim refers to the fact that the disinfectant kills 99% of bacteria, this instead means the disinfectant reduces 99% of colonies in a handful of species. Given the diversity of bacteria, it is essential to know how other, lesser studied species react to disinfectant both with the initial exposure to disinfectants and whether they can evolve tolerance to it. In this project, I investigated how Staphylococcus lugdunensis responds to ethanol at various concentrations and whether it is capable of evolving tolerance. The Staphylococcus lugdunensis was tested exposing a standard concentration (0.1 Optical Density) to ethanol diluted from 100% to 10% in 10% increments. Once the range of survival was determined, survivors from the highest concentration were liquid cultured to ensure exponential growth and exposed again to the diluted ethanol in 2.5% increments. The results of this model system suggest that the bacteria can evolve tolerance to ethanol. While this bacterium is rarely considered a pathogen, and is instead more often considered a commensal component of the skin microbiota, making it important to determine how it responds to alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Additionally, the properties of this bacteria might also be applicable to other forms of Staphylococcus, such as the more pathogenic S. aureus, making the results of this research of interest to determine the effectiveness of alcohol-based hand sanitizers on this pathogen.
University / Institution: Utah Valley University
Format: In Person
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Science & Technology
Faculty Mentor: Lauren Brooks