1887

Crowdsourced Data Indicate Widespread Multidrug Resistance in Skin Flora of Healthy Young Adults

    Authors: Scott Freeman1,*, Nnadozie O. Okoroafor1, Christopher M. Gast2, Mikhail Koval1, David Nowowiejski3, Eileen O’Connor1, Robert D. Harrington4, John W. Parks1, Ferric C. Fang3
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195; 2: Interdisciplinary Program in Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management; currently Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195; 3: Department of Laboratory Medicine and Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195; 4: Department of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 01 March 2016
    • ©2016 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, Box 355320, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195. Phone: 206-300-4448. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 172-182. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1008
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    Abstract:

    In a laboratory exercise for undergraduate biology majors, students plated bacteria from swabs of their facial skin under conditions that selected for coagulase-negative ; added disks containing the antibiotics penicillin, oxacillin, tetracycline, and erythromycin; and measured zones of inhibition. Students also recorded demographic and lifestyle variables and merged this information with similar data collected from 9,000 other students who had contributed to the database from 2003 to 2011. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing performed at the Harborview Medical Center Microbiology Laboratory (Seattle, WA) indicated a high degree of accuracy for student-generated data; species identification with a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) Biotyper revealed that over 88% of the cells analyzed by students were or The overall frequency of resistant cells was high, ranging from 13.2% of sampled bacteria resistant to oxacillin to 61.7% resistant to penicillin. Stepwise logistic regressions suggested that recent antibiotic use was strongly associated with resistance to three of the four antibiotics tested ( = 0.0003 for penicillin, << 0.0001 for erythromycin and tetracycline), and that age, gender, use of acne medication, use of antibacterial soaps, or makeup use were associated with resistance to at least one of the four antibiotics. Furthermore, drug resistance to one antibiotic was closely linked to resistance to the other three antibiotics in every case (all values << 0.0001), suggesting the involvement of multidrug–resistant strains. The data reported here suggest that citizen science could not only provide an important educational experience for undergraduates, but potentially play a role in efforts to expand antibiotic resistance (ABR) surveillance.

Key Concept Ranking

Antibacterial Agents
0.8687704
Antibiotics
0.51101357
Staphylococcus aureus
0.49737838
0.8687704

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2016-03-01
2019-03-21

Abstract:

In a laboratory exercise for undergraduate biology majors, students plated bacteria from swabs of their facial skin under conditions that selected for coagulase-negative ; added disks containing the antibiotics penicillin, oxacillin, tetracycline, and erythromycin; and measured zones of inhibition. Students also recorded demographic and lifestyle variables and merged this information with similar data collected from 9,000 other students who had contributed to the database from 2003 to 2011. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing performed at the Harborview Medical Center Microbiology Laboratory (Seattle, WA) indicated a high degree of accuracy for student-generated data; species identification with a matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) Biotyper revealed that over 88% of the cells analyzed by students were or The overall frequency of resistant cells was high, ranging from 13.2% of sampled bacteria resistant to oxacillin to 61.7% resistant to penicillin. Stepwise logistic regressions suggested that recent antibiotic use was strongly associated with resistance to three of the four antibiotics tested ( = 0.0003 for penicillin, << 0.0001 for erythromycin and tetracycline), and that age, gender, use of acne medication, use of antibacterial soaps, or makeup use were associated with resistance to at least one of the four antibiotics. Furthermore, drug resistance to one antibiotic was closely linked to resistance to the other three antibiotics in every case (all values << 0.0001), suggesting the involvement of multidrug–resistant strains. The data reported here suggest that citizen science could not only provide an important educational experience for undergraduates, but potentially play a role in efforts to expand antibiotic resistance (ABR) surveillance.

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FIGURE 1

Changes in the frequency of resistant bacteria over time.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2016 vol. 17 no. 1 172-182. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1008
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