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Environ Monit Assess. 2013 Jun;185(6):5285-93. doi: 10.1007/s10661-012-2945-x. Epub 2012 Oct 19.

Characterization of lead-resistant river isolate Enterococcus faecalis and assessment of its multiple metal and antibiotic resistance.

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Department of Biology, Kırıkkale University, 71450 Kırıkkale, Turkey.


Contamination of surface waters has a direct impact on the public health of entire communities. Microorganisms inhabiting contaminated surface waters have developed mechanisms of coping with a variety of toxic metals and drugs. Investigations were carried out to isolate and identify lead-resistant bacteria from the river Kızılırmak along the city of Kırıkkale, Turkey. Of the 33 lead-resistant isolates, one isolate with a minimal inhibitory concentration of 1,200 mg L(-1) was isolated and identified as Enterococcus faecalis by using biochemical tests and 16S rRNA sequencing. Lead-resistant E. faecalis isolate was found out to be resistant to other heavy metals like aluminum, lithium, barium, chromium, iron, silver, tin, nickel, zinc, and strontium and to drugs like amikacin, aztreonam, and gentamicin. E. faecalis harbored four plasmids with the molecular sizes of 1.58, 3.06, 22.76, and 28.95 kb. Plasmid profile analyses of cured derivatives revealed that the lead resistance ability of E. faecalis was still existing despite the elimination of all the plasmids. Moreover, the antibiotic resistance pattern of the cured derivatives did not demonstrate any change from the parental strain. Our findings indicated that the lead resistance genes of E. faecalis were located on the chromosomal DNA rather than the plasmid.

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