MURAL - Maynooth University Research Archive Library

    Antibiotic resistant and extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing faecal coliforms in wastewater treatment plant effluent

    Smyth, Cian and O’Flaherty, Aidan and Walsh, Fiona and Do, Thi Thuy (2020) Antibiotic resistant and extended-spectrum β-lactamase producing faecal coliforms in wastewater treatment plant effluent. Environmental Pollution, 262. p. 114244. ISSN 02697491

    Download (546kB) | Preview

    Share your research

    Twitter Facebook LinkedIn GooglePlus Email more...

    Add this article to your Mendeley library


    Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) provide optimal conditions for the maintenance and spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). In this work we describe the occurrence of antibiotic resistant faecal coliforms and their mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in the effluent of two urban WWTPs in Ireland. This information is critical to identifying the role of WWTPs in the dissemination of ARB and ARGs into the environment. Effluent samples were collected from two WWTPs in Spring and Autumn of 2015 and 2016. The bacterial susceptibility patterns to 13 antibiotics were determined. The phenotypic tests were carried out to identify AmpC or extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) producers. The presence of ESBL genes were detected by PCR. Plasmids carrying ESBL genes were transformed into Escherichia coli DH5α recipient and underwent plasmid replicon typing to identify incompatibility groups. More than 90% of isolated faecal coliforms were resistant to amoxicillin and ampicillin, followed by tetracycline (up to 39.82%), ciprofloxacin (up to 31.42%) and trimethoprim (up to 37.61%). Faecal coliforms resistant to colistin (up to 31.62%) and imipenem (up to 15.93%) were detected in all effluent samples. Up to 53.98% of isolated faecal coliforms expressed a multi-drug resistance (MRD) phenotype. AmpC production was confirmed in 5.22% of isolates. The ESBL genes were confirmed for 11.84% of isolates (9.2% of isolates carried blaTEM, 1.4% blaSHV-12, 0.2% blaCTX-M-1 and 1% blaCTX-M-15). Plasmids extracted from 52 ESBL isolates were successfully transformed into recipient E. coli. The detected plasmid incompatibility groups included the IncF group, IncI1, IncHI1/2 and IncA/C. These results provide evidence that treated wastewater is polluted with ARB and MDR faecal coliforms and are sources of ESBL-producing, carbapenem and colistin resistant Enterobacteriaceae.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Antibiotic resistance; Multidrug resistance; AmpC; Extended-spectrum β-lactamase; (ESBL)Plasmids;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Biology
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Research Institutes > Human Health Institute
    Item ID: 16129
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Fiona Walsh
    Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2022 08:16
    Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Pollution
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

    Repository Staff Only(login required)

    View Item Item control page


    Downloads per month over past year

    Origin of downloads