Madison McKinzie

Madison is working with Dr. George Argyros to study antibiotic resistance in the gut flora of wild and domesticated horses.  Madison describes her research as follows: “The gastrointestinal tract of a horse houses quite the diversity of microbial communities. Antibiotics used as a treatment for bacterial infections can lead to the evolution of antibiotic resistance in the horse’s gut flora. For this study, 50 horses at the Emory & Henry Equestrian Center along with 50 horses in the Grayson Highlands will have their manure sampled to determine the prevalence of antibiotic resistance to approximately twelve common antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections in domesticated animals and humans. We hypothesize that the stabled population will have greater antibiotic resistance than the wild horses due to their lack of treatment and human contact. With this data, we will be able to draw conclusions that relate to antibiotic resistance in humans and the consequences of over treatment.”

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