Kelsey Wraps Up Her Research at IPLA

Written by Kelsey Kolar

It’s the final countdown and the last week of work at IPLA-CSIC. Things are busier than ever! After finishing my last qPCR and working with Silvia to analyze results, I came to see just how much I have accomplished this summer. For a total of 16 qPCRs and a final one on Tuesday to validate data, I have tested antibiotic resistant gene, BlaSHV, presence and abundance for 480 samples. To accurately interpret the data, we compiled all the data into one excel document and analyzed each qPCR run where we look for errors or outliers in Standard data, Limit of detection, and Ct values. Although we had to exclude data from one qPCR, we were still able to make strong and significant conclusions from the data we have. 

Our overall goal was to analyze BlaSHV gene trends between term length and antibiotic treatment for infants over time. Infant samples were collected at 2 days, 10 days, 1 month, and 3 months of age. The infant terms I looked at were full term, preterm, and extremely preterm. After hours of DNA extractions, qPCR, and data analysis and statistics we have seen significant differences in BlaSHV presence based primarily on term length. We predicted that there would be more antibiotic resistance genes present in preterm infants than full-term, and this is what we saw! We also saw statistically significant differences of [BlaSHV] between term to both preterm and extremely preterm infants. We also proved that antibiotic treatment, regardless of term, increased the presence of BlaSHV in infant microbiotas. As I work to interpret and produce figures, more conclusions will come. I am excited to share my findings with IPLA-CSIC and those connected to CALS undergraduate research at NC State University.

I can not begin to explain how grateful I am for the opportunity to conduct research abroad. My time in Spain has allowed me to learn about the culture, meet new friends, establish strong work relations with IPLA-CSIC and the employees, and grow as an individual. I look forward to taking all I have learned and experienced with me as I begin my final year at NC State. I hope to return to Europe after graduation as I pursue a career in the Life Sciences!