Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Marcia M. Pierce

Department Affiliation

Biological Sciences

Abstract

Acinetobacter baumannii is a pathogen rising in notoriety worldwide due to outbreaks linked to multi-drug resistant strains. Research is currently focused on identifying virulence factors, which may contribute to increased ability to cause human disease, such as hemolytic activity and surface motility. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of these two virulent traits in clinical isolates. Forty-eight clinical isolates were recovered from University of Kentucky hospital in Lexington, KY. No hemolytic activity was observed for any of the isolates. Evidence of surface motility was observed in 13 isolates. The brand and concentration of media used allowed for better observation of motility. There is potentially a multifactorial component to virulence not examined in this study, which contribute to increased ability of A. baumannii to cause disease. Preliminary statistical tests did not indicate a relationship between surface motility and multi-drug resistance or being part of a complex of A. calcoaceticus-A. baumannii. The lack of results indicates a need for further research to be performed on A. baumannii to further classify virulence factors and examine the potential for a multifactorial component resulting in its virulence.

Included in

Microbiology Commons

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