Analysis of ultraviolet light as a bactericide of gram-negative bacteria in Cladophora macroalgae extracts

(1) Williamston High School Math and Science Academy, Williamston, Michigan
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In recent years, antibiotic resistance has increased in pathogenic bacteria, posing a growing threat to both patients and the pharmaceutical industry. This has resulted in inflated medical expenses and higher mortality rates for individuals diagnosed with bacterial infections. A potential alternative to synthetic medications involves the use of marine algae as natural antibacterial agents. Prior research suggests that the Cladophora macroalgae genus may be one option, as it has high polyphenolic content that has previously exhibited antibacterial properties. However, obtaining organic samples from bacteria-ridden environments poses complications concerning microbial contamination of medicinal plants. During initial trials of antibacterial testing, the Cladophora algae extract was found to be greatly contaminated with gram-negative bacteria. The study was then adapted to explore ultraviolet (UV) light as a possible bactericide of this microbial growth. The experiment utilized a control with no UV light treatment along with four experimental samples exposed to UV light for durations of 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes. We found that there was a statistically significant difference between the control mean and the means of the 30, 45, and 60-minute treatment groups. The overall data trend displays a negative correlation between the ZOF diameter and UV exposure time, supporting the hypothesis that longer durations of UV light treatment have a greater degree of antibacterial effectiveness.

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