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Bacterial resistance has been a threat to our antibiotics, decreasing their effectiveness against many human diseases. In 2010, the World Health Organization made a public call to action urging researchers to find new antibiotics before the year of 2020, showing society's vulnerability to evolving bacterial strains. Thus, it's critical to find an approach to maintaining antibiotic control over bacteria. A current approach has shown that phenolic compounds have proven to work synergistically against bacteria with penicillin and erythromycin antibiotics. In an analogous way, the work herein attempts to use the phenol derivatives known as parabens in combination with the antibiotics penicillin and erythromycin against S. aureus. This approach consists of the checkerboard assay by evaluation with the Lorian method to obtain fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) values. This study concluded that the combination of a polyphenol containing paraben and penicillin and additionally, polyphenol and butyl-iodo parabens with erythromycin showed synergistic effectiveness against S. aureus. Thus, from this research there is potential to further investigate combinations of antibacterial compounds to obtain more effective antibiotics to target emerging strains of resistant bacteria encountered in hospital facilities.


Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andrew Yeagley

Committee Members: Christian Melander (NC State), Sarah Porter (Longwood University), and Amorette Barber (Longwood University)

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Biology Commons



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