Screening municipal wastewater effluent and surface water used for drinking water production for the presence of ampicillin and vancomycin resistant enterococci

M. Taucer-Kapteijn, Wim Hoogenboezem, Laura Heiliegers, Danny de Bolster, Gertjan Medema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The emergence of clinical enterococcal isolates that are resistant to both ampicillin and vancomycin is a cause of great concern, as therapeutic alternatives for the treatment of infections caused by such organisms are becoming limited. Aquatic environments could play a role in the dissemination of antibiotic resistant enterococci. This study investigated the presence of ampicillin and vancomycin resistant enterococci in the treated effluent of six wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and in surface water used as a source for drinking water production in the Netherlands. Membrane filtration in combination with selective media with ampicillin or vancomycin was applied to determine the presence of ampicillin resistant Enterococcus (ARE) and vancomycin resistant Enterococcus (VRE) species. Ampicillin resistant Enterococcus faecium (minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) >16 μg/mL; n = 1033) was observed in all studied WWTP effluents. In surface water used for drinking water production (intake locations), no ARE or VRE were observed. At both types of location, intrinsic vancomycin resistant Pediococcus spp., Leuconostoc spp. and Lactobacillus spp. were isolated with the vancomycin medium. The ampicillin resistant E. faecium (AREfm) isolates (n = 113) did not contain the vanA or vanB gene, but MIC testing for vancomycin showed intermediate vancomycin resistance (2-8 μg mL-1) to occur in these AREfm strains. This study documents the discharge of ampicillin resistant E. faecium strains with intermediate vancomycin resistance by the WWTPs into the surface water, but no presence of these strains downstream at intake locations for drinking water production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-442
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Volume219
Issue number4-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • E. faecium
  • Enterococcus spp.
  • VanA
  • VanB
  • VRE
  • Wastewater effluent

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