W. T. Hillman Terzian

Patterns of Antibiotic Resistance Observed in Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-Positive Coagulase-Negative Bacteria Isolated from Hampden-Sydney Students

In recent years, antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), have increasingly become a serious public health issue in the United States and around the world. Gram-positive bacteria from Hampden-Sydney freshmen and seniors were isolated and categorized as Staphylococcus aureus (SA) or coagulase-negative (CN), Gram-positive bacteria. Each isolate was tested for antibiotic resistance using the disk-diffusion method. Approximately one-third of students at Hampden-Sydney carry SA, which is consistent with the national average (CDC 2005) (Kuehnert et al. 2006). Linezolid is the only antibiotic tested here to which 100% of the isolated bacteria were susceptible. It is unclear whether freshmen and seniors carry bacteria with different patterns of resistance, and it is not known whether seniors carry similar strains of bacteria. Antibiotic resistance is occurring in bacteria other than SA. Finally, a look at ampicillin’s effectiveness over time at Hampden-Sydney reveals that resistance to that antibiotic is increasing in this community. It is important to continue efforts to develop new antibiotics, and more careful use of already-existing antibiotics is necessary to minimize the risks associated with drug-resistant bacteria in the future.