Student Blog The blog of William Woods University Undergraduate Students

5Mar/154

Antibiotics in Action

This semester I'm taking a new class offered by Dr. Keller in the Biology Department, Microbial Diseases and the Human Body. As you can imagine, lecture is quite interesting because we learn about different diseases that affect people, and even things I've had in the past for instance strep throat! There is also a lab associated with the course, and after taking Microbiology my sophomore year, I knew I'd like working in the lab with different microorganisms.

Recently we learned about the mechanisms behind different antimicrobials. In lab, we got to see how antibiotics really work. We set up plates by covering them with bacteria (two different kinds) and then placed small disks soaked in different antibiotics on the surface of the plate. About a day later, we could actually see which antibiotics worked on the different bacteria! The soaked disks caused different zones of inhibition where the bacteria couldn't grow because of the antibiotic presence, and the two different bacteria were affected by different antibiotics.

This is the plate after we streaked it and added the antibiotic discs.

This is the plate after we streaked it and added the antibiotic discs.

After incubation, you can see the clear circular spots around the discs where the antibiotic kept the bacteria from growing.

After incubation, you can see the clear circular spots around the discs where the antibiotic kept the bacteria from growing.

It was really interesting to actually see it work! I've been sick and taken antibiotics several times, and I always knew that they function by killing the bacteria and not your own human cells, but to actually physically see the results was pretty cool! We've also been talking about the importance of not taking antibiotics unless your doctor says it is necessary because if you have say a virus then you're not killing the actual problem and instead you reduce the number of healthy microorganisms (which is also why a lot of people have the side effect of nausea when they take antibiotics!). You also have to take the full course of antibiotics and not stop when you feel better because if there are a few bacteria hanging around they can cause a secondary infection, or you could contribute to antibiotic resistance which is no good! I'd heard all these things before, but until learning about it in lecture and lab I didn't know why people said it. Now it all makes sense!

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. You are literally the coolest person ever, I love when you talk science.

  2. Nice Post… I Like Your Post…

  3. Used properly, antibiotics can save lives by fighting bacterial infections.

  4. That’s really informative and it is interesting to see how it works. Biology is amazing.


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