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Polygence Scholar2020
Sonia Fereidooni's profile

Sonia Fereidooni

Irvine High SchoolClass of 1970Irvine, California


Hello! My name is Sonia Fereidooni, and I am a Senior at Irvine High School in Irvine, California. Along with my love for learning, some of my hobbies include painting, playing golf, coding, and reading! My love for both microbiology and computer science has led to the creation of my research paper, "Evaluation of metronidazole resistance in Bacteroides". In this paper, I outline the growing threat of bacterial resistance, particularly in the case of the Bacteroides genus.


  • "Evaluation of metronidazole resistance in Bacteroides" with mentor Surya (July 27, 2021)

Sonia's Symposium Presentation

Project Portfolio

Evaluation of metronidazole resistance in Bacteroides

Started Apr. 24, 2020

Abstract or project description

With the rise of superbugs, it is important to monitor bacterial resistance to antibiotics to quell widespread inefficacy. The Bacteroides genus is fatal to humans if spread to nonnative body parts without proper treatment by Metronidazole—an antibiotic with few alternatives. In this study, the presence of Metronidazole resistance genes, Nim genes, will be recorded in the Bacteroides species to determine the linkage between different species and their susceptibility to resistance, uncovering the magnitude of the threat Metronidazole resistance poses within the genus. An included phylogenetic tree, constructed via MEGA, sequences the 16S genome, mapping the relativity of each Bacteroides species. A heatmap constructed in R software identifies Nim gene presence within each species, allowing the development of a second phylogenetic tree with marked resistant species. In conclusion, 32 of 62 species were identified to have at least one Nim gene present, indicating a remarkable spread of resistance. Nim gene presence was noted in almost every evolutionary branch—including the outgroup—attesting to the unpredictability of the determination of future resistant species, adding to its urgency. The majority of antibiotics used to fight Bacteroides are Nitroimidazole-based, to which Nim genes provide resistance. Thus, it would be advised that alternatives such as phage therapy be studied to fight future infections.