2010-2011 Undergraduate Research in Nutrition and Food Science
Microbial resistance is an increasing issue within and throughout the world. Since the advent of antibiotics more and more populations of microorganisms are becoming resistant to them. The aim of this study was to determine if college students are increasing microbial resistance, or if they are conducting safe practices to pass on to future generations. Anonymous health surveys were handed out to ninety undergraduate students at the University of Kentucky. The average age of the students who participated was 22 +/- 4.6 years. The majority of the participants were of senior-standing at the University. 83% participants were female, and of these, most had fairly normal hand washing and hand sanitizer practices. The main goal of the research study was to determine how many college students finish their course of antibiotics and whether or not their infection returned. It was found that, of those who finished their antibiotic course, 81% had no return of infection. Of those who quit their antibiotic course early, 60% did have their infection return. Students washed their hands an average of 6.55 times per day and majority of them (90%) use hand sanitizers. Of these (14%) use sanitizers immediately after washing their hands. This research provides evidence of the importance of completing antibiotic treatment for bacterial infections.