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Extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) are enzymes that destroy several frequently used antibiotics such as, penicillin and cephalosporin. Many pathogenic bacteria harbor these enzymes and are therefore multi-drug resistant. ESBLs are commonly produced by Enterobacteria which are common gut flora of many mammals. ESBLs are plasmid encoded and therefore are easily transferred between bacteria. Because of the rampant and improper use of antibiotics, ESBL producing bacteria have become prevalent and pose a significant health threat due to their ability to cause a multitude of difficult to treat infections. They are one of the leading causes of death world-wide. As of yet, there is no data on prevalence of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae in North Georgia water sources. Flat creak is located in North Georgia and runs directly into Lake Lanier, which is used for swimming and drinking water. We obtained efferent and afferent water samples from Flat Creek Water Reclamation Center in Hall County Georgia. We also collected water samples upstream and downstream from the treatment plant in Flat Creek. These water samples were filtered, grown on an enrichment media and plated on selective media that allowed isolation of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae. We found ESBL producing enterobacteria in all the samples. Further identification methods revealed the presence of ESBL producing Kebsiella pneumoniae, Kebsiella oxytoca, Enterobacter cloacae, and Escherichia coli. Currently we are confirming the presence of bla genes that encode for ESBL in our isolates. We are also carrying out the disk diffusion method to test susceptibility of the isolates to several commonly used antibiotics.


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  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

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  • Additional information
    • Author Biography:

      Dr. Swapna Bhat is a faculty at the University of North Georgia, Biology department. She teaches Microbiology and Biology at the Gainesville campus. Dr. Jeanelle Morgan is also a faculty at the University of North Georgia, Biology department. She teaches several biology courses such as Microbiology, Genetics, and Molecular Biology at the Gainesville campus. She is also the Associate head of the Biology department at the Gainesville campus. Ms Flood is is also a faculty at the University of North Georgia, Biology department. She is an Assistant professor teaches several biology courses such as Freshwater Ecology, Freshwater invertebrates at the Gainesville campus.