Effect of Triclosan on E. Coli Bacteria Growth

The experiment conducted encompassed finding what treatment group was most effective at preventing the growth of E. Coli on a petri dish. The purpose of the experiment was to determine if the chemical known as Triclosan has any effective antibacterial means. Triclosan has had a lot of controversy surrounding its use in common household products as it has been believed to be both useless and toxic by the general public. The CDC has ruled otherwise on 3 occasions but the trend in society still persists. Moreover, the experiment was to determine if the chemical does have an effect on the growth of bacteria as it is most commonly used for.

The experiment was conducted by, essentially, mixing in the 4 various treatment groups in with agar that the E. Coli bacteria is to grow on. This is achieved through preparing the agar normally, but then mixing in a specified amount of treatment into the liquid agar, then subsequently pouring it into the petri dish. After giving the bacteria a sufficient time to grow, the colonies are counted. The amount of colonies is then used as the data for the experiment where a statistical test will be run. There were two statistical tests conducted; a preliminary ANOVA was run to determine if the treatment groups did have different results. Based on the results of the ANOVA, a two sample t test was conducted to further determine which treatment group had the most, if any, effect on the growth of the bacteria.

The resulting finds that are made during this experiment could be used to prove whether personal hygiene care product companies are using inferior products. This research can also be applied to seeing at how effective standards soaps fair up against their Triclosan variations.

Research Conducted By:

Nicholas Frechette
Fitzgerald Senior High School

Kathleen Hawkey
Warren Mott High School