Date Approved

2018

Degree Type

Campus Only Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Health Sciences

First Advisor

Lynne Shetron-Rama

Second Advisor

Colleen Croxall

Abstract

Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease, where the body's immune system attacks the mucous membranes and moisture-secreting glands of the eyes and mouth. When attacked, these glands produce less tears and saliva, causing symptoms such as dryness of the eyes, mouth, and nares. To provide relief from the dryness of the nares, individuals use over the counter (OTC) nasal sprays, oils and washes. Some sprays contain plant extracts and the purpose of this study was to investigate their effects on microbe growth using Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) assays, both broth and plate techniques, optical density, disk diffusion, and counting colony forming units. This study determined whether the plant extracts were bactericidal or bacteriostatic, and found one to be effective at inhibiting the growth of several microorganisms. This plant extract may be an effective option as an alternative to antibiotics, or used in conjunction with them to decrease the number of antibiotic-resistant microbial infections in hospitals. Further testing should determine the mechanism of action and whether there are any side effects to a patient's well-being if they were to be treated with this remedy.

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