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Antibiotic resistance and prevalence of class 1 and 2 integrons in Escherichia coli isolated from two wastewater treatment plants, and their receiving waters (Gulf of Gdansk, Baltic Sea, Poland)

Kotlarska, Ewa, Łuczkiewicz, Aneta, Pisowacka, Marta, Burzyński, Artur
Environmental science and pollution research international 2015 v.22 no.3 pp. 2018-2030
Escherichia coli, amoxicillin, antibiotic resistance, fluoroquinolones, genes, monitoring, phenotype, piperacillin, polymerase chain reaction, rivers, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, wastewater, wastewater treatment, Baltic Sea, Poland
In this study, antimicrobial-resistance patterns were analyzed in Escherichia coli isolates from raw (RW) and treated wastewater (TW) of two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), their marine outfalls (MOut), and mouth of the Vistula River (VR). Susceptibility of E. coli was tested against different classes of antibiotics. Isolates resistant to at least one antimicrobial agent were PCR tested for the presence of integrons. Ampicillin-resistant E. coli were the most frequent, followed by amoxicillin/clavulanate (up to 32 %), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (up to 20 %), and fluoroquinolone (up to 15 %)-resistant isolates. Presence of class 1 and 2 integrons was detected among tested E. coli isolates with rate of 32.06 % (n = 84) and 3.05 % (n = 8), respectively. The presence of integrons was associated with increased frequency of resistance to fluoroquinolones, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, amoxicillin/clavulanate, piperacillin/tazobactam, and presence of multidrug-resistance phenotype. Variable regions were detected in 48 class 1 and 5 class 2 integron-positive isolates. Nine different gene cassette arrays were confirmed among sequenced variable regions, with predominance of dfrA1-aadA1, dfrA17-aadA5, and aadA1 arrays. These findings illustrate the importance of WWTPs in spreading of resistance genes in the environment and the need for inclusion of at least monitoring efforts in the regular WWTP processes.