Princeton University Library Catalog

At Least It’s Clean?: A Study of the Effects of Agricultural Proximity on Antibiotic Resistance in Gram-Negative Enteric Bacteria Found in Tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Khuvis, Joshua [Browse]
Senior thesis
Metcalf, C. Jessica E. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology [Browse]
Class year:
Summary note:
As the threat of antibiotic-resistant and multidrug-resistant human pathogens builds, we must take measures to understand what is causing this dangerous trend before our commonly used antibiotics are rendered all but useless. Of special concern to us and our research is the role that agriculture plays in the development of antibiotic resistance in the environment. As such, in this paper we aim to discover a connection between already established reservoirs of drug-resistant Gram-negative enteric bacteria in the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and their proximity to farmland. We carry this out via a survey study of the Watershed to ascertain the extent of antibiotic resistance, after which we map the features of the area surrounding the sampling site in order to understand the extent of farmland in the surrounding location. Our results demonstrate that there may be a correlation between resistance to tetracycline, a commonly used antibiotic in animal husbandry, and proximity to farmland, as well as a correlation between general resistance trends and extent of local farmland. As such, we advise that more work be done on this question so that we may gain a clearer understanding and more definitive proof of the factors involved and thus be able to counteract the current trends in antibiotic resistance.