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Biofilms are complex bacterial communities that attach to solid surfaces such as rocks. In nature biofilms are made up of several species of bacteria. Due to their unique physiological structure, biofilms are more resistant to antibiotics and any environmental changes that they are challenged with. Due to the close association of bacteria they also share their genetic material at high rates. Therefore biofilms are one of the main reason for transfer of antibiotic resistant genes between different species of bacteria. Some bacterial species code for an enzyme known as extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL). This enzyme breaks down several types of antibiotics conferring resistance. Currently, ESBLs pose a significant health threat in medical environments due to their ability to cause a multitude of difficult-to-treat infections. They are one of the leading causes of death worldwide; with biofilms causing around 60% of medical problems. ESBL-producing bacteria have not been studied in any water sources located in North Georgia. We are interested in identifying ESBL harboring bacteria in biofilms. Therefore, the stream of Flat Creek, which is located in North Georgia, was studied in order to test for the presence of these bacteria. This stream flows through a wastewater facility that treats hospital waste. The biofilm samples that were tested came from six different sources of Flat Creek Water Reclamation Facility. We used plates containing the bla gene to select for ESBL harboring bacterial colonies. API strips were used to identify the bacteria. We also confirmed the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the biofilm by using antibiotics disc inhibition and PCR analysis. In the future, we plan to expand our water sources for closer examination.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event date
    • 25 March 2016

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Professor Margi Flood, Dr. Swapna Bhat, Dr. Jeanelle Morgan