Frankel, B. (2022). Assessing the threat: Antibiotic resistant bacteria near Pittsburgh hospitals. The Young Researcher, 6(1), 72-83. http://www.theyoungresearcher.com/papers/frankel.pdf
The threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria is not only present, but increasing rapidly. Surveillance data that provides information about the location and caliber of antibiotic resistant bacteria is proving valuable when it comes to arranging appropriate medical responses. This study aims to address the antibiotic resistance surveillance data gap within the city of Pittsburgh and its hospital system. Six soil bacteria samples were collected at varying distances from a hospital in urban and suburban levels of anthropogenic activity and tested against ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, and erythromycin individually. The Traditional Agar Plating method was used to determine the resistance ratio of each sample by comparing colony forming units on control plates to antibiotic treated plates. Trends identifying the relationship between levels of anthropogenic activity/ distance from a hospital and antibiotic resistance ratios were present with Pearson correlation coefficients of ~-.92 and ~-.62 for suburban and urban anthropogenic activity respectively. Since these correlations are statistically insignificant due to the low sample size, they are unable to prove the diffusion of antibiotic resistance from hospitals to other areas. The resistance ratios did, however, identify the possibility of antibiotic resistance genetic exchange between the soil reservoir and pathogens circulating within the hospital, imposing health risks to the subject hospitals’ patients. Aside from this genetic exchange dynamic, the implications of this study are minimal. However, the study acts as a framework for future research that entails a larger sample size to statistically prove the connection between the distance from a hospital and antibiotic resistance in bacteria.
Keywords: Antibiotic Resistance, Antibiotic resistant bacteria, nosocomial ARB, horizontal gene transfer of ARB, ARB in soil