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Multiresistant Bacteria Isolated from Activated Sludge in Austria

1
Institute of Hygiene, Microbiology and Environmental Medicine, Medical University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
2
Institute of Laboratory Diagnostics and Microbiology, Klinikum-Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, 9020 Klagenfurt, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030479
Received: 15 December 2017 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 9 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobials and Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment)
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Abstract

Wastewater contains different kinds of contaminants, including antibiotics and bacterial isolates with human-generated antibiotic resistances. In industrialized countries most of the wastewater is processed in wastewater treatment plants which do not only include commercial wastewater, but also wastewater from hospitals. Three multiresistant pathogens—extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-harbouring Enterobacteriaceae (Gram negative bacilli), methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin resistant Enterococci (VRE)—were chosen for screening in a state of the art wastewater treatment plant in Austria. Over an investigation period of six months all three multiresistant pathogens could be isolated from activated sludge. ESBL was the most common resistance mechanism, which was found in different species of Enterobacteriaceae, and in one Aeromonas spp. Sequencing of ESBL genes revealed the dominance of genes encoding members of CTX-M β-lactamases family and a gene encoding for PER-1 ESBL was detected for the first time in Austria. MRSA and VRE could be isolated sporadically, including one EMRSA-15 isolate. Whereas ESBL is well documented as a surface water contaminant, reports of MRSA and VRE are rare. The results of this study show that these three multiresistant phenotypes were present in activated sludge, as well as species and genes which were not reported before in the region. The ESBL-harbouring Gram negative bacilli were most common. View Full-Text
Keywords: ESBL; MRSA; VRE; sewage sludge; PER-1 ESBL; MRSA; VRE; sewage sludge; PER-1
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Galler, H.; Feierl, G.; Petternel, C.; Reinthaler, F.F.; Haas, D.; Habib, J.; Kittinger, C.; Luxner, J.; Zarfel, G. Multiresistant Bacteria Isolated from Activated Sludge in Austria. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 479.

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