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The World Health Organization has identified antibiotic resistance as one of the largest threats to human health and food security. In this study, we compared antibiotic resistance patterns between ESBL-producing Escherichia coli from human clinical diseases and cefotaxime-resistant environmental strains, as well as their potential to be pathogenic. Antibiotic susceptibility was tested amongst clinical isolates (n = 11), hospital wastewater (n = 22), and urban wastewater (n = 36, both influent and treated effluents). Multi-drug resistance predominated (>70%) among hospitalwastewater and urban wastewater influent isolates. Interestingly, isolates from clinical and urban treated effluents showed similar multi-drug resistance rates (~50%). Most hospital wastewater isolates were Phylogroup A, while clinical isolates were predominately B2, with a more diverse phylogroup population in urban wastewater. ESBL characterization of cefotaxime-resistant populations identified blaCTX-M-1 subgroup as the most common, whereby blaKPC was more associated with ceftazidime and ertapenem resistance. Whole-genome sequencing of a carbapenemase-producing hospital wastewater E. coli strain revealed plasmid-mediated blaKPC-2. Among cefotaxime-resistant populations, over 60% of clinical and 30% of treated effluent E. coli encoded three or more virulence genes exhibiting a pathogenic potential. Together, the similarity among treated effluent E. coli populations and clinical strains suggest effluents could serve as a reservoir for future multi-drug resistant E. coli clinical infections.
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Liedhegner, Elizabeth; Bojar, Brandon; Beattie, Rachelle E.; Cahak, Caitlin; Hristova, Krassimira R.; and Skwor, Troy, "Similarities in Virulence and Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Gene Profiles among Cefotaxime-Resistant Escherichia coli Wastewater and Clinical Isolates" (2022). Biological Sciences Faculty Research and Publications. 890.
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