Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Occurrence of Kanamycin-Resistant Bacteria Along an Urban Hiking Trail in Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Biology, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Darlene Panvini

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Increased use of antibiotics in humans and animals has contributed to a rise in antibiotic resistance, undermining the efficacy of antibiotic treatments. This study examines the relationship between antibiotic resistant bacteria in the soil microbiome and human activity. Bacteria resistant to kanamycin were isolated from soil samples collected at twelve sites located various distances from a hiking trail in Nashville, Tennessee in September 2021. Antibiotic resistant bacteria were found in most all locations. Bacterial colonies were quantified and identified through PCR amplification and DNA barcoding. The diversity and abundance of kanamycin-resistant bacteria were greatest at the farthest point away from human activity. Sequence alignments were compared among bacteria found at multiple locations. The diversity and characterization of the bacteria provided additional insight into soil health and the distribution of the bacteria at the site. Future research should focus on investigating other factors that may contribute to differences in abundance and diversity of kanamycin-resistant bacteria, such as water flow, animal presence, and the occurrence of kanamycin-resistant bacteria in guts of soil invertebrates. This research contributes to the general understanding of how human activity relates to antibiotic resistance in the soil microbiome.

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