Antimicrobial resistance patterns in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from an urban wastewater treatment plant

Miguel Ferreira da Silva, Ivone Vaz-Moreira, Maria Gonzalez-Pajuelo, Olga C. Nunes, Celia M. Manaia

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208 Citations (Scopus)


Over 18 months, enterobacteria were isolated from the raw (189 isolates) and treated (156 isolates) wastewater of a municipal treatment plant. The isolates were identified as members of the genera Escherichia (76%), Shigella (7%), Klebsiella (12%) and Acinetobacter (4%). Antimicrobial susceptibility phenotypes were determined using the agar diffusion method for the antibiotics amoxicillin, gentamicin, ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, tetracycline and cephalothin, the disinfectants hydrogen peroxide, sodium hypochlorite, quaternary ammonium/formaldehyde and iodine, and the heavy metals nickel, cadmium, chromium, mercury and zinc. Class 1 integrons were detected by PCR amplification using the primers CS5 and CS3. Compared with the raw influent, the treated wastewater presented higher relative proportions of Escherichia spp. isolates resistant to ciprofloxacin and cephalothin (P<0.0001 and P<0.05, respectively). Except for mercury, which showed a positive correlation with tetracycline and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, no significant positive correlations were observed between antibiotic, disinfectant and heavy metal resistance. The variable regions of class 1 integrons, detected in c. 10% of the Escherichia spp. isolates, contained predominantly the gene cassettes aadA1/dhfrI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-176
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Disinfectants
  • Heavy metals
  • Class 1 integron


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