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Front Microbiol. 2019 Nov 8;10:2600. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.02600. eCollection 2019.

Phenotypic and Genotypic Antimicrobial Resistance Traits of Vibrio cholerae Non-O1/Non-O139 Isolated From a Large Austrian Lake Frequently Associated With Cases of Human Infection.

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Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Vienna, Austria.
Research Division of Biochemical Technology, Institute of Chemical, Environmental and BioScience Engineering, Technische Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria.
French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), Ploufragan-Plouzané-Niort Laboratory, Ploufragan, France.
French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), Fougeres Laboratory, Fougeres, France.
Institute for Hygiene and Applied Immunology - Water Microbiology, Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Division Water Quality and Health, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences, Krems an der Donau, Austria.
Interuniversity Cooperation Centre for Water and Health, Vienna, Austria.


Vibrio cholerae belonging to serogroups other than O1 and O139 are opportunistic pathogens which cause infections with a variety of clinical symptoms. Due to the increasing number of V. cholerae non-O1/non-O139 infections in association with recreational waters in the past two decades, they have received increasing attention in recent literature and by public health authorities. Since the treatment of choice is the administration of antibiotics, we investigated the distribution of antimicrobial resistance properties in a V. cholerae non-O1/non-O139 population in a large Austrian lake intensively used for recreation and in epidemiologically linked clinical isolates. In total, 82 environmental isolates - selected on the basis of comprehensive phylogenetic information - and nine clinical isolates were analyzed for their phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility. The genomes of 46 environmental and eight clinical strains were screened for known genetic antimicrobial resistance traits in CARD and ResFinder databases. In general, antimicrobial susceptibility of the investigated V. cholerae population was high. The environmental strains were susceptible against most of the 16 tested antibiotics, except sulfonamides (97.5% resistant strains), streptomycin (39% resistant) and ampicillin (20.7% resistant). Clinical isolates partly showed additional resistance to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid. Genome analysis showed that crp, a regulator of multidrug efflux genes, and the bicyclomycin/multidrug efflux system of V. cholerae were present in all isolates. Nine isolates additionally carried variants of bla CARB-7 and bla CARB-9, determinants of beta-lactam resistance and six isolates carried catB9, a determinant of phenicol resistance. Three isolates had both bla CARB-7 and catB9. In 27 isolates, five out of six subfamilies of the MATE-family were present. For all isolates no genes conferring resistance to aminoglycosides, macrolides and sulfonamides were detected. The apparent lack of either known antimicrobial resistance traits or mobile genetic elements indicates that in cholera non-epidemic regions of the world, V. cholerae non-O1/non-O139 play a minor role as a reservoir of resistance in the environment. The discrepancies between the phenotypic and genome-based antimicrobial resistance assessment show that for V. cholerae non-O1/non-O139, resistance databases are currently inappropriate for an assessment of antimicrobial resistance. Continuous collection of both data over time may solve such discrepancies between genotype and phenotype in the future.


Vibrio cholerae; antibiotic resistance; bathing water; climate change; non-O1/non-O139

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