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Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) are a family of enzymes that confer resistance to a number of antibiotics, including those containing a beta lactam ring. ESBLs exhibit antibiotic resistance by destroying the antibiotic’s structure and may be encoded by bacterial plasmids that can easily be transferred between bacteria from the family Enterobacteriaceae. Organisms that produce ESBLs pose both threats and challenges in the administration of appropriate therapeutic agents to treat infections. Water environments such as streams can help the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which can originate from a variety of sources, including food processing, waste water treatment plants, and urban runoff. We are studying the isolation and identification of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae from water samples obtained from a water treatment plant and its receiving stream in north Georgia. In this paper, we carried out enumeration of ESBL-producing bacteria from water samples obtained immediately upstream and downstream from the water treatment plant. ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae were observed from both pre-treated water obtained from the water treatment plant and from upstream (240/ 100 ml) and downstream (240/ 100 ml) water samples, including ESBL-producing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumonia. Our results indicate that ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae are present in all water sources sampled. This suggests that the waste water treatment plant is not the source of these microorganisms. Further studies are needed to determine the originating source.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • Enumeration of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae

  • Journal title
    • Papers & Publications

  • Volume
    • 7

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      The authors would like to thank Brandon Mangum, Sarah Bell, Lindsay McCuen, and Michael West for technical support and University of North Georgia CURCA and Biology Department for funding the project.

      Author Biography:

      Monica Leavell is a 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Monica has presented her research at the 2017 UNG Annual Research Conference and the 2017 Society for Freshwater Science’s Annual Meeting. In the future, she plans on attending medical school. Dr. Jeanelle Morgan is a professor and Associate Department Head of Biology at University of North Georgia. She received her BS degree in Biology from Ursinus College and her PhD in Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics from Drexel University College of Medicine. She teaches a variety of courses on the Gainesville campus including Genetics and Microbiology while maintaining an active research program with undergraduates. Margi Flood is an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of North Georgia. She is a freshwater ecologist who specializes in community structure of aquatic insects. Dr. Swapna Bhat is an Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of North GA, Gainesville campus. She obtained her PhD in Microbiology from the University of Georgia. Her research interests involve understanding antibiotic resistance in bacteria and cell communication.

      Graduation Date:

      May 2017