Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research

Faculty Sponsor

Beverly Juett



Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a gram negative, rod-shaped, facultative anaerobic bacterium, it is normally found in the lower intestines of warm-blooded animals and humans. E. coli and/or fecal coliforms have been used as fecal indicators in water, food, and contact surfaces. The purpose of this experiment is to identify the prevalence of E. coli and fecal coliforms on the bottom of backpacks belonging to college students in central Kentucky. Forty samples were taken from bottoms of college students’ backpacks in central Kentucky. Sterile swabs were used to collect the samples from the backpacks. The swabs were placed in Stuart’s transport medium and arrived at the lab within 2 hours. Upon arrival the samples were streaked for isolation on Coliscan Easygel© plates under a laminar air flow hood. The inoculated plates were placed in an incubator at 35º C and read for presence or absence of E. coli and/or fecal coliforms at 24 and 48 hours. E. coli was isolated from four samples (10%), fecal coliforms were isolated from nine samples (22.5%), and both E. coli and fecal coliforms were isolated from two samples (5%) out of the forty total samples collected. E. coli and fecal coliforms found on the backpacks may be a possible source of secondary infections in the communities.

Based on the above, I recommend this article for publication in the Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research.

Table 1.pdf (363 kB)
Results Table

submission letter.docx (12 kB)
Submission Letter

biography.docx (12 kB)