Environmental Isolate Developing Antibiotic Resistance by Complementation

Main Article Content

Mary Ridgeway Dr. Ashley Fink Dr. David Mitchell


Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern within the scientific community.  With few new antibiotics being introduced and an increasing number of resistant microbes, routine bacterial infections are becoming more difficult to treat in clinics and hospitals. The purpose of this study is to compare the ability of two environmental isolates – Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Exiguobacterium undae (E. undae) to grow in solutions of increasing concentrations of tetracycline and ciprofloxacin. After the bacteria showed grow in the solutions, antibiotic susceptibility was tested by examining zones of inhibition on Trypticase Soy Agar (TSA) plates. Our results indicate both isolates were initially susceptible to each antibiotic. The isolates were grown individually and mixed to determine if the isolates could gain resistance to the antibiotics in either environment. Our results demonstrate that E. undae could grow and become resistant in mixed cultures when grown in the presence of S. aureus reflecting the ability of S. aureus to complement microbial growth. Along with the ability of S. aureus to complement the growth of E. undae, it was also able to develop resistance to both ciprofloxacin and tetracycline through repetitive exposure.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance, Staphylococcus aureus, Exibuobacterium undae, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, complementation

Article Details

How to Cite
RIDGEWAY, Mary; FINK, Dr. Ashley; MITCHELL, Dr. David. Environmental Isolate Developing Antibiotic Resistance by Complementation. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 8, sep. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/4357>. Date accessed: 02 oct. 2023. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v11i8.4357.
Research Articles


1. French, G.L. (2005). Clinical impact and relevance of antibiotic resistance. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 57(10):1514-1527. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addr.2005.04.005

2. Rezzoagli, C., Archetti, M., Mignot, I., Baumgartner, M., Kümmerli, R. (2020). Combining antibiotics with antivirulence compounds can have synergistic effects and reverse selection for antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PLoS Biology 18(8):e30000805. https://doi.org/10/1371/journal.pbio.30000805.

3. Hadji-nejad, S., Rahbar, H., Mehrgran, H. (2010). Synergy between phenothiazines and oxacillin against clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research 9(3):243-249. https://doi.org/10.4314/tjpr.v9i3.56284.

4. Iqbal, M., Narulita, E., Zahra, F., Murdiyah, S. (2020) Effect of phage-antibiotic synergism (PAS) in increasing antibiotic inhibition of bacteria caused of foodborne diseases. The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries 4(5):488-493. https://doi.org/10/3855/jidc.12094.

5. Taylor, T.A., Unakal, C.G. (Updated 2022). Staphylococcus aureus-StatPearls- NCBI Bookshelf. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved January 3, 2023 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441868.

6. Belbase A, Pant ND, Nepal K, et al. Antibiotic resistance and biofilm production among the strains of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from pus/wound swab samples in a tertiary care hospital in Nepal. Annals of clinical microbiology and antimicrobials. 2017;16(1):15. doi:10.1186/s12941-017-0194-0

7. Frühling, A., Schumann, P., Hippe, H., Straubler, B., Stackebrandt, E. (2002). Exiguobacterium undae sp. nov. and Exiguobacterium antarcticum sp. nov. International Journal of Systemic and Evolutionary Microbiology, 52(Pt.4): 1171-1176. https://doi.org/10/1099/00207713-52-4-1171

8. Engin AB, Engin ED, Engin A. Effects of co-selection of antibiotic-resistance and metal-resistance genes on antibiotic-resistance potency of environmental bacteria and related ecological risk factors. Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2023;98. doi:10.1016/j.etap.2023.104081

9. Shutter, M.C., Akhondi, H. (Updated 2022). Tetracycline-StatPearls-NCBI Bookshelf. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved January 3, 2023 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549905.

10. Thai, T., Salisbury, B.H., Zito, P.M. (Updated 2023). Ciprofloxacin-StatPearls-NCBI Bookshelf. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved January 3, 2023 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK535454.

11. Chauhan D, Agrawal G, Deshmukh S, Roy SS, Priyadarshini R. Biofilm formation by Exiguobacterium sp. DR11 and DR14 alter polystyrene surface properties and initiate biodegradation. RSC advances. 2018;8(66):37590-37599. doi:10.1039/c8ra06448b

12. Pearl Mizrahi S, Goyal A, Gore J. Community interactions drive the evolution of antibiotic tolerance in bacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023;120(3):e2209043119. doi:10.1073/pnas.2209043119

13. Keziah VS, Priya J. A systematic review on the overprescription of antibiotics causing antibiotic resistance. Drug Invention Today. 2018;10(11):2159-2161. Accessed August 5, 2023. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=a9h&AN=132173462&site=eds-live

14. Eroģlu, A., Akduman Alasehir, 3. (2020). Evaluation of treatment application and antibiotic resistance rates for community acquired urinary tract infections in Turkey and review of the literature. Journal of Urological Surgery, 7(2):114-119. https://doi.org/10.4274/jus.galenos.2020.3532

15. Nikaido, H. (2009). Multidrug resistance in bacteria. Annual Review of Biochemistry 78:119-146. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.biochem.78.082907.145923.

16. McCracken CM, Tucker KJ, Tallman GB, Holmer HK, Noble BN, McGregor JC. General Perceptions and Knowledge of Antibiotic Resistance and Antibiotic Use Behavior: A Cross-Sectional Survey of US Adults. Antibiotics (2079-6382). 2023;12(4):672. doi:10.3390/antibiotics12040672

17. David, J.-C., Piednoir, E., Nadarajah, K., & Delouvée, S. (2023). Attitudes, Knowledge, Risk Perception of Antimicrobial Resistance and Antibiotic Use Behaviors: A Cross-Sectional Survey in a Young Adult Population. Substance Use & Misuse, 58(5), 698-703. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2023.2181035

18. Gasparrini, A.J., Markley, J.L., Kumar, H., Wang, B., Fang, L., Irum, S., Symister, C.T., Wallace, M., Burnham, C.-A.D., Andeleeb, S., Tolia, N.H., Wencewicz, T.A., Dantas, G. (2020). Tetracycline-inacivating enzymes from environmental, human commensal, and pathogenic bacteria cause broad-spectrum tetracycline resistance. Communications Biology, 3(1):1-12. https://doi.org/10/1038/s42003-020-0966-5.

19. Kuang, D., Zhang, J., Su, X., Shi, W., Chen, S., Yang, X., Su, X., Shi, X., Meng, J. (2018). Emerging high-level ciprofloxacin resistance and molecular basis of resistance in Salmonella enterica from humans, food and animals. International Journal of Food Microbiology 280:1-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.05.001.

20. Hassanzadeh S, Khoramrooz SS, Mazloomirad F, et al. Bacterial profile and their antimicrobial resistance patterns among patients with community-acquired pneumonia in southwestern Iran. Iranian Journal of Microbiology. 2023;15(3):343-349. Accessed August 4, 2023. https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=shib&db=a9h&AN=164315781&site=eds-live