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Can J Microbiol. 2013 Nov;59(11):737-45. doi: 10.1139/cjm-2013-0515. Epub 2013 Oct 1.

Extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing Escherichia coli in hospital wastewaters and sewage treatment plants in Queensland, Australia.

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a GeneCology Research Centre, School of Health and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Science, Health and Education, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC 4558, Queensland, Australia.


We investigated the prevalence of extended-spectrum β-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-β-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 β-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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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