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Antibiotic-Resistant Enteric Bacteria in Environmental Waters

Division of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3984, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, CB #7431, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sunny Jiang
Water 2016, 8(12), 561;
Received: 26 August 2016 / Revised: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogens in Water)
Sources of antibiotic resistant organisms, including concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), may lead to environmental surface and groundwater contamination with resistant enteric bacteria of public health concern. The objective of this research is to determine whether Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica, and enterococci resistant to clinically relevant antibiotics are present in surface and groundwater sources in two eastern North Carolina counties, Craven and Wayne. 100 surface and groundwater sites were sampled for Salmonella, E. coli, and enterococci, and the bacteria isolated from these samples were tested for susceptibility to clinically relevant antibiotics. Salmonella were detected at low levels in some surface but not groundwater. E. coli were in surface waters but not ground in both counties. Enterococci were present in surface water and a small number of groundwater sites. Yersinia was not found. Bacterial densities were similar in both counties. For Salmonella in surface water, the most frequent type of resistance was to sulfamethoxazole. There was no ciprofloxacin resistance. There were a few surface water E. coli isolates resistant to chloramphenicol, gentamicin, and ampicillin. Enterococci in surface water had very low levels of resistance to vancomycin, chloramphenicol, ampicillin, and streptomycin. E. coli and enterococci are present more frequently and at higher levels in surface water than Salmonella, but groundwater contamination with any of these organisms was rare, and low levels of resistance can be found sporadically. Resistant bacteria are relatively uncommon in these eastern N.C. surface and groundwaters, but they could pose a risk of human exposure via ingestion or primary contact recreation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Salmonella; CAFO; water; antibiotic resistance; surface water; groundwater Salmonella; CAFO; water; antibiotic resistance; surface water; groundwater
MDPI and ACS Style

Casanova, L.M.; Sobsey, M.D. Antibiotic-Resistant Enteric Bacteria in Environmental Waters. Water 2016, 8, 561.

AMA Style

Casanova LM, Sobsey MD. Antibiotic-Resistant Enteric Bacteria in Environmental Waters. Water. 2016; 8(12):561.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Casanova, Lisa M., and Mark D. Sobsey. 2016. "Antibiotic-Resistant Enteric Bacteria in Environmental Waters" Water 8, no. 12: 561.

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