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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2008;71(7):427-33. doi: 10.1080/15287390701838796.

Prevalence of bacterial contamination with antibiotic-resistant and enterotoxigenic fecal coliforms in treated drinking water.

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Aquatic Toxicology Division, Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow, India.


Pollution indicator bacteria such as coliforms, fecal coliforms, and fecal streptococci were enumerated using a multiple-tube fermentation method in 100 treated drinking-water samples from 20 locations in residential, commercial, and industrial areas of a tropical city during summer. Thirty-four percent of the samples were bacteriologically nonpotable. Maximum coliform-contaminated (27%) samples were derived from industrial areas, while samples contaminated with fecal coliform (23%) and fecal streptococci (20%) originated from commercial areas. Coliforms identified as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella sp., Enterobacter sp., and Citrobacter sp. were present in 29%, 26%, 24%, and 15% of samples, respectively. Fecal coliforms were examined for antibiotic susceptibility with disc diffusion method. All test isolates exhibited multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) for kanamycin, nalidixic acid, tetracycline, and trimethoprim. Escherichia coli isolates were examined for enterotoxigenicity using the suckling mice bioassay and 60% of the isolates displayed enterotoxigenicity. Data indicate that drinking water contaminated with antibiotic-resistant enterotoxigenic fecal bacteria may be responsible for presence of waterborne diarrheal diseases attributed to therapeutic agents used by urban populations in the tropics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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