Extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing Escherichia coli in hospital wastewaters and sewage treatment plants in Queensland, Australia
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We investigated the prevalence of extended-spectrum ߭lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli in untreated hospital wastewaters and 2 sewage treatment plants (STPs). A collection of 252 ESBL-producing E. coli isolates from hospital wastewater and STPs were typed and tested for resistance to 17 antimicrobial agents and for the presence of integron-associated integrases (intI gene) and ESBL genes. Eighty-nine percent (n = 176) of the ESBL-producing E. coli strains from hospital wastewater were found in more than 1 sample (common types), with 1 common type accounting for 35% of isolates, found in all samples. These strains were also resistant to up to 9 non-߭lactam antibiotics and showed the same pattern of resistance in all samples. More than 73% of the hospital wastewater isolates possessed SHV-type ESBL as opposed to isolates from STPs that carried only CTX-M-type ESBL genes. The prevalence of the intI gene did not differ between the sources of the isolates. Certain ESBL-producing E. coli were dominant in hospital wastewaters. These strains possessed ߭lactamase genes that were different from isolates found in STPs. From a public health point of view, the presence of such a high level of ESBL-producing E. coli strains in hospital wastewaters is of great importance.
Canadian Journal of Microbiology
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Medical Microbiology not elsewhere classified