2018 Volume 64 Issue 6 Pages 284-292
The emergence of antibiotic resistance among multidrug-resistant (MDR) microbes is of growing concern, and threatens public health globally. A total of 129 Escherichia coli isolates were recovered from lowland aqueous environments near hospitals and medical service centers in the vicinity of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Among the eleven antibacterial agents tested, the isolates were highly resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (83.7%) and nalidixic acid (71.3%) and moderately resistant to ampicillin and chloramphenicol (66.7%), tetracycline (65.1%), fosfomycin (57.4%), cefotaxime (57.4%), and ciprofloxacin (57.4%), while low resistance levels were found with aminoglycosides (kanamycin, 22.5%; gentamicin, 21.7%). The presence of relevant resistance determinants was evaluated, and the genotypic resistance determinants were as follows: sulfonamides (sulI, sulII, and sulIII), trimethoprim (dfrA1 and dfrA5), quinolones (qnrS), β-lactams (ampC and blaCTX-M), chloramphenicol (cmlA1 and cat2), tetracycline (tetA and tetM), fosfomycin (fosA and fosA3), and aminoglycosides (aphA1 and aacC2). Our data suggest that multidrug-resistant E. coli strains are ubiquitous in the aquatic systems of tropical countries and indicate that hospital wastewater may contribute to this phenomenon.