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Treated municipal wastewater as a source of high-risk and emerging multidrug-resistant clones of E. coli and other Enterobacterales producing extended-spectrum β-lactamases

Puljko, Ana; Babić, Ivana; Dekić Rozman, Svjetlana; Barišić, Ivan; Jelić, Marko; Maravić, Ana; Parać, Marija; Petrić, Ines; Udiković Kolić, Nikolina (2023) Treated municipal wastewater as a source of high-risk and emerging multidrug-resistant clones of E. coli and other Enterobacterales producing extended-spectrum β-lactamases. Environmental Research, 243 . ISSN 0013-9351

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Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Enterobacterales are a major public health problem, and wastewater from municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is a potential means of spreading them into the environment and community. Our objective was to isolate ESBL-producing E. coli and other Enterobacterales from wastewater after treatment at Croatia's largest WWTP and to characterize these isolates by phenotypic and genotypic testing. Of the 200 bacterial isolates, 140 were confirmed as Enterobacterales by MALDI-TOF MS, with Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp. predominating (69% and 7%, respectively). All 140 enterobacterial isolates were multidrug-resistant (MDR) and produced ESBLs. The most prevalent ESBL genes among the isolates tested were blaCTX-M-15 (60%), blaTEM-116 (44%), and blaCTX-M-3 (13%). Most isolates (94%) carried more than one ESBL gene in addition to blaCTX-M. Genes encoding plasmid-mediated AmpC, most notably blaEBC, were detected in 22% of isolates, whereas genes encoding carbapenemases (blaOXA-48, blaNDM-1, blaVIM-1) were less represented (10%). In E. coli, 9 different sequence types (ST) were found, with the emerging high-risk clones ST361 (serotype A-O9:H30) and pandemic ST131 (serotype B2–O25:H4) predominating (32% and 15%, respectively). Other high-risk E. coli clones included ST405 (3%), ST410 (3%), CC10 (3%), ST10 (3%), and ST38 (2%), and emerging clones included ST1193 (2%) and ST635 (2%). Whole-genome sequencing of three representative E. coli from two dominant clone groups (ST361 and ST131) and one extensively drug-resistant K. oxytoca revealed the presence of multiple plasmids and resistance genes to several other antibiotic classes, as well as association of the blaCTX-M-15 gene with transposons and insertion sequences. Our findings indicate that treated municipal wastewater contributes to the spread of emerging and pandemic MDR E. coli clones and other enterobacterial strains of clinical importance into the aquatic environment, with the risk of reintroduction into humans.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Wastewater; Enterobacterales; Antibiotic resistance; ESBL; Carbapenemases; High-risk clones
Subjects: BIOTECHNICAL SCIENCES > Biotechnology
BIOTECHNICAL SCIENCES > Biotechnology > Biology
BIOTECHNICAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Technical Sciences
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Antibiotička rezistencija u uređajima za obradu otpadnih voda u Hrvatskoj: naglasak na ß-laktamaze proširenog spektra i karbapenemaze-WasteCareNikolina Udiković KolićIP-2019-04-5539Znanstveno-istraživački projekti
Depositing User: Ana Puljko
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2023 13:17
DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.117792

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