Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Medical Laboratory Science

First Advisor

Mary Lux, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Medical Laboratory Science

Abstract

Many methods have been employed to prevent infections from opportunistic pathogens in immunocompromised individuals. Among these are the use of ultraviolet light (UV). In this study, UVC light, was found to have a deleterious effect on specific skin flora. Organisms tested included Acinetobacter baumanii, Candida albicans, Candida kefyr, Corynebacterium renale, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Streptococcus pyogenes. Nutrient agar was used to cultivate most organisms. Blood agar was used for the cultivation of Streptococcus pyogenes and Enterococcus faecalis. Bacterial suspensions were made and utilized to plate each organism onto a set of 7 nutrient agar or blood agar plates. A portion of each of 6 of the plates was then exposed to UVC light for 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 seconds respectively. For each organism, increased exposure to UVC light resulted in a decrease of the number of colony forming units observed in the portion of the plate that was exposed to the UVC light. These data suggest that UVC light acts as an efficient bactericidal agent. Results obtained in this study may lead to innovative uses for UVC light in the prevention of disease.

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