The occurrence and diversity of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in wastewaters from the Brighton and Hove area of south-east England were investigated. VRE were recovered from 71% of raw urban wastewater samples, 22% of treated urban wastewater samples, 15% of hospital wastewater samples and 33% of farm wastewater samples. Two hundred and eight-eight isolates were typed and identified and the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) to six antibiotics were determined for selected VRE. Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) strains with a vancomycin MIC of more than 32μg ml-1 were examined by polymerase chain reaction for the vanA, vanB and esp genes. Twenty-three VREF with the vanA or vanB gene were further analysed by multilocus sequence typing which revealed that a cluster of VREF from both hospital and urban wastewaters belong to the high-risk, epidemic, clonal complex-17 (CC17). Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus faecium belonging to the CC17 group contained the purK-1 allele, were resistnat to ampicillin and frequently ciproflaxin, and usually contained the esp gene. To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of CC17 strains isolated from urban wastewaters in the UK, and indicates that certain clones carrying antibiotic resistance or virulence traits indicative of the hospital environment can be detected in the urban wastewater system.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2008|