Honors Program

Honors in Health Sciences: Microbiology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Dr. Sean Fox

Thesis Professor Department

Health Sciences

Thesis Reader(s)

Dr. Erik Petersen, Professor Brian Espino


The identification of antimicrobial compounds that inhibit multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria continues to be a significant area of research to combat the public health threat posed by MDRs. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative, MDR bacterium found within both the environment and healthcare settings. Our laboratory has observed another Gram-negative bacterium, Proteus species, exerts an interesting polymicrobial interaction with Pseudomonas aeruginosa by potentially compromising the quorum sensing (QS) factor, pyocyanin, of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Production of pyocyanin by Pseudomonas is the main method the bacterium uses for communication and coordination of virulence. In this study, we examined the effectiveness of Proteus mirabilis and Proteus vulgaris to compromise pyocyanin production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Through the use of pyocyanin isolation and extraction techniques, data was gathered for Pseudomonas aeruginosa’ s molecular interaction with the two Proteus species of bacteria. Further observations were made on microbial interaction between Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus mirabilis through measuring the rate of metabolic activity, twitching motility rate, and observing differences in biofilm formation. Using the data obtained from this research, we hope to identify new methods of controlling Pseudomonas virulence and infection by inhibiting its ability to communicate and coordinate in polymicrobial infections


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

etsu-license-form (1).pdf (137 kB)
Embargo Form


Copyright by the authors.

Available for download on Sunday, April 21, 2024