Abstract by Daniel Poulson
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Antibiotic Methods of Organic Compounds Derived from Essential Oil of Oregano
Most commercially available antibiotics, such as penicillin, are derived from natural compounds. Over time, bacterial resistance to most traditional antibiotics rises. Therefore, it is always necessary to find new chemicals to use as antibiotics. Essential oil of oregano is a natural compound that has been shown to be an effective antibiotic. However, the mechanism by which it kills bacteria is unknown. We are investigating the antibacterial mechanisms of essential oil of oregano and its key components: carvacrol, thymol, fenchyl alcohol, and gamma terpinene. We are using traditional techniques, such as serial dilutions and plating, to find minimum inhibitory concentrations of each compound. In addition, we are using flow cytometry to analyze large bacterial samples at an individual cell level. This will help us determine the mechanisms by which these compounds kill the bacteria and the length of time required to kill them. We hope that the results of this research will aid in the development of future antibiotics.