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      Vancomycin-resistant enterococci from Portuguese wastewater treatment plants.

      Journal of Basic Microbiology
      Animals, Anti-Bacterial Agents, pharmacology, Enterococcus, classification, drug effects, isolation & purification, Genes, Bacterial, Humans, Microbial Sensitivity Tests, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Portugal, Sewage, microbiology, Vancomycin, Vancomycin Resistance, Water Purification

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          The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence of vancomycin resistant enterococci in sludge and sewage of urban and poultry-slaughterhouse wastewater treatment plants. A total of 17 vancomycin resistant enterococci (eight vanA -containing Enterococcus faecium and nine vanC1/vanC2 -containing Enterococcus gallinarum/casseliflavus) were found among 499 isolates of sewage and sludge samples of 14 urban and nine poultry-slaughterhouse wastewater treatment plants. These seventeen VRE isolates showed resistance to kanamycin (n = 8), tetracycline (n = 7), erythromycin (n = 7), ciprofloxacin (n = 7), ampicillin (n = 7), streptomycin (n = 6), and gentamicin (n = 2). The tetM gene, related with tetracycline resistance, was found in six of eight van A-containing isolates, in all seven vanC-1 isolates and in one of two vanC-2 isolates. The ermB gene in seven erythromycin-resistant isolates; and the aac6 '-aph2 ″ gene in the two high-level-gentamicin-resistant isolates. Moreover, two vanA -containing E. faecium isolates harbored the hyl virulence gene, and three isolates the entA bacteriocin gene. The purK-1 allele was detected in our urban vanA -containing E. faecium isolate, and we found as well the purK-6 allele in one poultry-slaughterhouse vanA -containing E. faecium isolate. This study suggests that the wastewater treatment plants might be an important source of dissemination of antibiotic-resistant enterococci in Portugal. © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

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