Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Antibacterial Resistance

I had a young woman ask for information on the antibacterial resistance of organic substances, specifically against e-coli and staphylococcus. When I asked from which discipline she was approaching the question, she said she was a high school student working on a science project comparing the antibacterial effect of garlic oil, tea tree oil, and olive oil.

I didn’t feel I did a particularly good job drawing out exactly what she was looking for. When we searched PubMed looking for antibacterial resistance of organic substances, the results were drug-related (not surprising given the source). I did find an article that looked at the direct her to the reference section on traditional medicines, which I know has resources that cover garlic, tea tree, and olive oils.

I went back over the search after, but suspect the reason I wasn’t able to find anything particularly useful was that the term “organic substances” is too general. Had I pressed her to give me a specific organic substance that she was looking for, we might have made better progress.

Any suggestions?


Blogger Dean Giustini said...

Your intuition seems sound to me. The more specific she can be re: "organic substances" the better. Given the age/ expertise of the patron (high school) it might be better to refer the question to the public library, or show her (as you did) our resources and let her browse.

My take on it....Dean

11:12 PM  

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