Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Janna Marshall - Alabama A&M University
Co-Author(s): Rupert T. England, Alabama A&M University
Traditional cigarettes have been identified as carcinogenic drugs that pose a significant health threat to humans. Due to this, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been labeled as safer alternatives to traditional cigarettes due to the absence of tobacco in their vapor as well as similarities in flavor and sensation. Despite this label, scientists do not know the long–term effects of e-cigarette use. The purpose of this study is to determine how e- liquids, found in e-cigarettes, affect bacteria commonly found in the human mouth. Because the microflora of the mouth is directly in contact with vapors inhaled from e-cigarettes, it is important to understand how the vapors affect these organisms. In the study we observed three bacteria: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Streptococcus mitis, and Streptococcus mutans, and exposed them to four different e-cigarette vapors containing concentrations of nicotine at 0mg, 6mg, 12mg, and 24mg. We then allowed the organisms to grow for 48 hours before observing. Exposure was done via a vacuum pump attached to an e-cigarette that pumps vapors into a container with the organism in a petri dish. Exposure was conducted in a pattern that mimics the conditions of a casual smoking session. Media used are Carolina Agar infused with Carolina Nutrient Broth. So far our results show that L. acidophilus growth is promoted by e-liquid exposure. S. mitis has shown little response to e-liquid exposure. We expect to see decreased growth with increased concentration of nicotine in e-liquid vapor on S. mutans. This study also aims to determine public awareness of e-cigarettes. Surveys will be conducted targeting college students over the age of 18 with questions regarding e-cigarettes. We expect to see little awareness of e-cigarettes due to the recent introduction of e-cigarette products on the market. References: Aas, J. A., Paster, B. J., Stokes, L. N., Olsen, I., & Dewhirst, F. E. (2005). Defining the Normal Bacterial Flora of the Oral Cavity. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 43(11), 5721–5732. http://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.43.11.5721-5732.2005 Cervellati, F., Muresan, X., Sticozzi, C., Gambari, R., Montagner, G., Forman, H., Valacchi, G. (2014). Comparative effects between electronic and cigarette smoke in human keratinocytes and epithelial lung cells. Toxicology in Vitro, 28(5), 999-1005. doi:10.1016/j.tiv.2014.04.01 Yu, V., Rahimy, M., Korrapati, A., Xuan, Y., Zou, A. E., Krishnan, A. R., … Ongkeko, W. M. (2016). Electronic cigarettes induce DNA strand breaks and cell death independently of nicotine in cell lines. Oral Oncology, 52, 58–65. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.10.018 Funder Acknowledgement(s): I would like to thank Dr. Marius Schamschula and the Alabama A&M University ASSURE Program. Funding was provided by HBCU-UP. Faculty Advisor/ Mentor: Dr. Florence Okafor, Davida EffingerNot Submitted
Funder Acknowledgement(s): HBCU-UP
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Florence Okafor, email@example.com
Role: I conducted exposures and composed preliminary reports. I also assisted with carrying out procedures necessary to progress with the experiment.