Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Fall 2012

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences

Program or Major

Medical Laboratory Science

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Barry Corriveau


The purpose of this research paper is to study, analyze, and characterize antibiotic resistance in both the theoretical and investigative contexts. After an in-depth examination of the literature and previous research investigating the definition, origin, affected organisms, and proposed coping mechanisms related to antibiotic resistance, a research plan was organized and executed.

The organism Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was selected as the focus of study because of abundant current research and regulated monitoring of this organism in healthcare organizations. Data about the incidence rates of MRSA in theUnited States was collected from reports disseminated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Information about the number of healthcare-associated infections in the state ofNew Hampshire was provided by the State Department of Health, and two hospitals contacted offered information on the number of MRSA isolates recorded.

The national data revealed that the overall trend is a significant decrease in the number of cases of MRSA. Statewide data collection also showed reduced numbers of healthcare-associated infections. The data from individual hospitals reveal steady, very low grade infection rates.

The major conclusion of this research endeavor is that current infection control plans and procedures, including standard and specialized precautions and innovative and sometimes aggressive treatment plans, have a positive effect on infection rates. Though MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant infections remain an ever-looming threat, human innovation and effort can still bring one of the most major medical concerns of this era under control.

Table_of_Contents_edited.doc (22 kB)
Table of Contents

thesis cover.docx (10 kB)
Cover Page

Works_Cited_edited.doc (34 kB)
Works Cited