Prevalence of plasmid-mediated multidrug resistance determinants in fluoroquinolone-resistant bacteria isolated from sewage and surface water

Adriana Osińska, Monika Harnisz, Ewa Korzeniewska
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2016, 23 (11): 10818-10831
Fluoroquinolones (FQs) are fully synthetic broad-spectrum antibacterial agents that are becoming increasingly popular in the treatment of clinical and veterinary infections. Being excreted during treatment, mostly as active compounds, their biological action is not limited to the therapeutic site, but it is moved further as resistance selection pressure into the environment. Water environment is an ideal medium for the aggregation and dissemination of antibiotics, antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB), and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), which can pose a serious threat to human health. Because of this, the aim of this study was to determine the number of fluoroquinolone-resistant bacteria (FQRB) and their share in total heterotrophic plate counts (HPC) in treated wastewater (TWW), and upstream and downstream river water (URW, DRW) samples where TWW is discharged. The spread of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) determinants and the presence/absence of resistance genes to other most popular antibiotic groups (against tetracyclines and beta-lactams) in selected 116 multiresistant isolates were investigated. The share of FQRB in total HPC in all samples was rather small and ranged from 0.7 % in URW samples to 7.5 % in TWW. Bacteria from Escherichia (25.0 %), Acinetobacter (25.0 %), and Aeromonas (6.9 %) genera were predominant in the FQRB group. Fluoroquinolone resistance was mostly caused by the presence of the gene aac(6')-1b-cr (91.4 %). More rarely reported was the occurrence of qnrS, qnrD, as well as oqxA, but qnrA, qnrB, qepA, and oqxB were extremely rarely or never noted in FQRB. The most prevalent bacterial genes connected with beta-lactams' resistance in FQRB were bla TEM, bla OXA, and bla CTX-M. The bla SHV was less common in the community of FQRB. The occurrence of bla genes was reported in almost 29.3 % of FQRB. The most abundant tet genes in FQRB were tet(A), tet(L), tet(K), and tet(S). The prevalence of tet genes was observed in 41.4 % of FQRB. The highest prevalence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) microorganisms was detected in TWW and DRW samples. It indicates that discharged TWW harbors multiresistant bacterial strains and that mobile PMQR and ARGs elements may have a selective pressure for species affiliated to bacteria in the river water.

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