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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Antibiotic susceptibility profiles of some Vibrio strains isolated from wastewater final effluents in a rural community of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

Anthony I Okoh* and Etinosa O Igbinosa

Author Affiliations

Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group (AEMREG), Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, South Africa

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BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:143  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-10-143

Published: 14 May 2010

Abstract

Background

To evaluate the antibiogram and antibiotic resistance genes of some Vibrio strains isolated from wastewater final effluents in a rural community of South Africa. V. vulnificus (18), V. metschnikovii (3), V. fluvialis (19) and V. parahaemolyticus (12) strains were isolated from final effluents of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) located in a rural community of South Africa. The disk diffusion method was used for the characterization of the antibiogram of the isolates. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was employed to evaluate the presence of established antibiotic resistance genes using specific primer sets.

Results

The Vibrio strains showed the typical multidrug-resistance phenotype of an SXT element. They were resistant to sulfamethoxazole (Sul), trimethoprim (Tmp), cotrimoxazole (Cot), chloramphenicol (Chl), streptomycin (Str), ampicillin (Amp), tetracycline (Tet) nalidixic acid (Nal), and gentamicin (Gen). The antibiotic resistance genes detected includes dfr18 and dfrA1 for trimethoprim; floR, tetA, strB, sul2 for chloramphenicol, tetracycline, streptomycin and sulfamethoxazole respectively. Some of these genes were only recently described from clinical isolates, demonstrating genetic exchange between clinical and environmental Vibrio species.

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that final effluents from wastewater treatment plants are potential reservoirs of various antibiotics resistance genes. Moreover, detection of resistance genes in Vibrio strains obtained from the wastewater final effluents suggests that these resistance determinants might be further disseminated in habitats downstream of the sewage plant, thus constituting a serious health risk to the communities reliant on the receiving waterbodies.