Poster Title

Testing Bacteria Found on Bank Notes Against Antibiotics

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Secondary School

Institution

Project Lead The Way - Kentucky

KY House District #

14

KY Senate District #

8

Abstract

Currency has always been considered unclean as it passes from one person's hand to the next, but does money actually harbor harmful bacteria? This experiment was focused on paper currency, as research has found many of the metals in coins prevent bacterial growth. Our goal was to determine if bacteria are present on paper currency from a variety of locations and then determine how to best combat the bacteria using a specific antibiotic, or combination of antibiotics, that best minimizes bacterial growth with no negative impact on the paper currency or humans. Bacteria found on paper currency was cultured on agar plates then different antibiotics were introduced to the bacteria to assay for antibiotic resistance. Through our research, Doxycycline, a tetracycline, allowed less bacteria to grow compared to Amoxicillin, Levofloxacin, and Tobramycin. Doxycycline effects both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria by interrupting the process of adding amino acids to a polypeptide sequence. If we were to combine antibiotics, our research suggests that the best combination would be Amoxicillin and Doxycycline. This combination would allow only one of the eight tested bacteria to grow, as opposed to the three colonies that survived on Doxycycline plate and the four on the Amoxicillin plates. Amoxicillin, a Beta Lactam, is also effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis.

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Testing Bacteria Found on Bank Notes Against Antibiotics

Currency has always been considered unclean as it passes from one person's hand to the next, but does money actually harbor harmful bacteria? This experiment was focused on paper currency, as research has found many of the metals in coins prevent bacterial growth. Our goal was to determine if bacteria are present on paper currency from a variety of locations and then determine how to best combat the bacteria using a specific antibiotic, or combination of antibiotics, that best minimizes bacterial growth with no negative impact on the paper currency or humans. Bacteria found on paper currency was cultured on agar plates then different antibiotics were introduced to the bacteria to assay for antibiotic resistance. Through our research, Doxycycline, a tetracycline, allowed less bacteria to grow compared to Amoxicillin, Levofloxacin, and Tobramycin. Doxycycline effects both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria by interrupting the process of adding amino acids to a polypeptide sequence. If we were to combine antibiotics, our research suggests that the best combination would be Amoxicillin and Doxycycline. This combination would allow only one of the eight tested bacteria to grow, as opposed to the three colonies that survived on Doxycycline plate and the four on the Amoxicillin plates. Amoxicillin, a Beta Lactam, is also effective against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis.