Is it possible to choose E.coli O104:H4 on our project?

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Is it possible to choose E.coli O104:H4 on our project?

Postby gabwen » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:09 am

we chose E.coli O104:H4 because it is antibiotic resistant. And we are trying find out if Lactobacillus acidophilus can act as an substitute for antibiotics to inhibit growth of E.coli O104:H4.
However, it is a extremely dangerous strain, the outbreak of it in 2011 caused 48 deaths in Germany.
Is it too dangerous for us to perform experiments on it? Even if we are going to perform them in a BSL-2 Laboratory?
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Project Question: Science fair project on probiotics
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Re: Is it possible to choose E.coli O104:H4 on our project?

Postby donnahardy2 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:32 pm

Hi ,

This sounds like a really great project idea. Here are some answers that should help you get started.

If you have access to a laboratory with BSL-2 facilities, you can do your project with E.coli O104:H. However, before you start, please review information about doing projects with potentially hazardous biological agents from this website: ... ents.shtml

You will need permission from your local scientific review committee before you begin your experiments.

If you do not have access to a lab with the proper facilities, then I recommend using one of the garden variety E. coli strains that are available from Carolina Biologicals. These strains are designed for use in classrooms. You would still need to check in with the safety review committee and work in a laboratory (not at home) for this project. Your high school may already have one of these strains available that you could use. ... question=E. coli&trail=&_DARGS=/catalog/gadgets/results-navigation-bottom.jsp_AF&_dynSessConf=8953520845503616224&trail=&/atg/commerce/search/catalog/QueryFormHandler.searchRequest.docSortProp=&/atg/commerce/search/catalog/QueryFormHandler.searchRequest.pageSize=12&goToPage=1&_D%3A/atg/commerce/search/catalog/QueryFormHandler.searchRequest.docSortProp=+&_D%3A/atg/commerce/search/catalog/QueryFormHandler.searchRequest.pageSize=+

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a Gram-positive bacterium not related to E. coli and would have completely different antibiotic resistance profiles.

I hope this helps. If you need more advice, please let us know what research question are you trying answer with your experiment. What antibiotics will you be using?

Donna Hardy
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