Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Eric Conte (Director), Dr. Kevin Williams, and Dr. John Loughrin

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


Unregulated use of growth promoting antibiotics like Tetracyclines in agricultural feeds is becoming an increasing problem in antibiotic resistance. Undigested antibiotics leads to significant concentrations in livestock waste. These concentrations provide continuous selection pressure for the development of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment. Antibiotic resistance related deaths are projected to surpass cancer related deaths by 2050 making antibiotic resistance a pressing public health issue. The purpose of this study is to determine the abundance and persistence of tetracycline (tet) resistance genes in swine waste over a period of 100 days in an anaerobic digester system. Tet(A), tet(B), tet(G), tet(M), tet(O), tet(Q), and tet(W) were quantified by quantitative polymerase chain reaction after DNA extraction. Primers that target ribosomal protection proteins and efflux proteins were used. Antibiotic resistance genes decreased from day one but were found to be present throughout the study.


Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Molecular Biology