Berges 2015 Final MEG Report
Evaluation of how well the academic objectives of the proposal were met
Here are the original aims of the grant proposal, along with a brief progress report:
A. Determine prevalence of S. aureus and MRSA in local raw meat samples. We have a manuscript on this aim, it is currently under review. A BYU undergrad is the first author.
B. Characterization of antibiotic resistance and virulence factors in SA samples from raw meat. These results are part of the first manuscript mentioned above. We have a manuscript in preparation on this aim. A BYU M.S. student is the first author, with BYU undergrads as co-authors.
C. Characterization of SA isolates for capacity to form biofilms. We have a manuscript in preparation on this aim. A BYU undergrad is the first author.
D. Examination of methods to decontaminate biofilms. We have a manuscript in preparation on this aim. A BYU undergrad is the first author.
Evaluation of the mentoring environment
I mentored my students as I outlined in my proposal, and the evidence that the mentoring environment was beneficial to BYU undergrads is in the 4 papers currently in preparation or under review and the 8 conference presentations. All 4 papers have BYU undergrads listed, and 3 of the 4 have a BYU undergrad as the first author. All 8 conference presentations related to this project were made by BYU undergrads.
List of students who participated and what academic deliverables they have produced or it is anticipated they will produce
Students who participated: Kyler Haskell, Ben Haws, Bryan Hair, Spencer Bagley, Sam Schriever, Keni Fonoimoana, Lisa Deus, Taalin Rasmussen, Matt Conley, Erik Berges (all BYU undergrads) Trevor Wienclaw, Ashlin Cowger (BYU MS students).
1. We currently have a manuscript under review at International Journal of Food Microbiology.
Prevalence and characterization of Staphylococcus aureus in four types of raw meat samples in the state of Utah, United States. Here is the author list, with BYU undergrads underlined and BYU grad students in bold: Haskell, Kyler J.,a Schriever, Samuel R.,a Haws, Benjamin,a Hair, Bryan B.,a Wienclaw, Trevor M.,a Fonoimoana, Kenisi D.a, Heaton, Matthew J.,b and *Berges, Bradford K.a
2. We have already begun to write a paper on ways to decontaminate SA biofilms. Bactericidal Effects of Silver Nanoparticles and Vancomycin on MRSA biofilms. Here is the author list, with BYU undergrads underlined and BYU grad students in bold: Hair, Bryan B., Conley, Matthew E., Wienclaw, Trevor M., Haskell, Kyler J., Freestone, Courtney A. and *Berges, Bradford K.
3. We have already begun to write a paper on the capacity of SA to form biofilms. Here is the author list, with BYU undergrads underlined and BYU grad students in bold: Trevor Wienclaw, Sam Schriever, Keni Fonoimoana, Bryan Hair, Matt Conley, and *Berges, Bradford K.
4. We have already begun a related project looking at the prevalence of Staph aureus and MRSA in organic meat products. That paper is already in preparation as well, and Sam Schriever and/or Keni Fonoimoana will be first author (both BYU undergrads).
5. Conference presentations supported by this MEG award, with BYU undergrads underlined and BYU grad students in bold:
a. Spencer Bagley, Bradford Berges. Sequencing and Annotation of 12 Bacteriophage Genomes To Aid In Discovering a Treatment For Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, 2017.
b. Frequency and Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA in raw meat samples in the Utah County Area. Haskell, Kyler J., Schriever, Samuel R., Wienclaw, Trevor M., and Berges, Bradford K. Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, 2016.
c. Conley, M. and Berges, B.K. Eradication of Staph aureus biofilms with silver nanoparticles. American Society of Microbiology Intermountain Branch Meeting, 2017.
d. Samuel Schriever, Kenisi Monomania, Kyler Haskell, Benjamin Haws, Erik Berges, Bradford Berges. Comparison of Antibiotic Resistance Profiles in Staphylococcus aureus in Organic and Traditionally Grown Poultry. American Society of Microbiology Intermountain Branch Meeting, 2017.
e. Haws, Benjamin, Schriever, Samuel R., Berges, Erik T., and Berges, Bradford K.. Assessment of the Impact of Antibiotic Use in Livestock on Staphylococcus aureus Prevalence and Antimicrobial Resistance. Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, 2017.
f. Conley, Matthew E., Hair, Bryan B., Bradford Berges. The Synergistic and Bactericidal Effects of Vancomycin, Bacteriophage, and Silver Nanoparticles against MRSA Biofilms. Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, 2017.
g. Haskell, Kyler J., Schriever, Samuel R.,Wienclaw, Trevor M., Hair, Bryan, Haws, Benjamin and Berges, Bradford K. Frequency and Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA in raw meat samples in the Utah County Area. American Society of Microbiology Intermountain Branch Meeting, 2016.
h. Hair, Bryan B., Rasmussen, Taalin S.,Wienclaw, Trevor M., Deus, Lisa M., and Berges, Bradford K. The Synergistic and Bactericidal Effects of Vancomycin, Bacteriophage, and Silver Nanoparticles against MRSA Biofilms. Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, 2016.
Description of the results/findings of the project
abstract from manuscript currently under review:
We determined the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and methicillin-resistant SA (MRSA) in raw turkey, chicken, beef, and pork samples from at least 11 different grocery stores in the county of Utah, state of Utah, USA (n=35-49 samples per meat type). SA was common in raw meat, with an overall prevalence of 22.64% (range of 2.78-30.77%) among the four meat types. MRSA was detected rarely in beef, but commonly in pork and poultry meats (2.78% in beef, 20.41% in chicken, 17.95% in pork, 20.00% in turkey). Minimum inhibitory concentrations and disk diffusion distances for ten different antibiotics were measured for 36 SA isolates. Overall, erythromycin resistance was highest while rifampin susceptibility was highest. Multi-drug resistance was detected in 60.6% of isolates. Our results demonstrate a high level of SA and MRSA contamination of raw meat in Utah, accompanied by a high degree of multi-drug resistance, potentially putting humans at risk of food poisoning or SA infection.
MRSA biofilm eradication project:
We have found that silver nanoparticles can promote significant breakdown of SA and MRSA biofilms. Vancomycin can weaken biofilms as well, but most strains are resistant. A combination of silver nanoparticles and vancomycin is more effective than either one alone, suggesting a synergistic effect.
SA capacity to form biofilms project:
We have examined the biofilm-forming capacity of dozens of SA isolates, specifically by category: our own isolates from raw meat, hospital isolates, isolates from the human nose, and those from a sports training facility. We have found significant differences in biofilm-forming capacity by the origin of a given strain. In addition, we have used proteases and DNases to break down biofilms in an attempt to discover the main components of each strain’s biofilm. We have found that known disease-causing isolates are more likely to break down after protease treatment, but that non-disease causing isolates are more likely to be broken down by DNase.
Prevalence of SA and MRSA in organic vs conventional meat project:
We are still in the earlier stages of this project, but our preliminary results suggest that there are no differences in how often SA is detected in organic vs conventional meat samples. However, we failed to
detect any MRSA in organic meat samples, suggesting that antibiotic resistance is not selected for in an organic livestock environment. In addition, antibiotic resistance to 3 other common antibiotics was also higher in conventional vs organic meat SA isolates.