A Point Prevalence Survey of Antibiotic Resistance in the Irish Environment, 2018–2019
Water bodies worldwide have proven to be vast reservoirs of clinically significant antibiotic resistant organisms. Contamination of waters by anthropogenic discharges is a significant contributor to the widespread dissemination of antibiotic resistance. The aim of this research was to investigate multiple different anthropogenic sources on a national scale for the role they play in the environmental propagation of antibiotic resistance. A total of 39 water and 25 sewage samples were collected across four local authority areas in the West, East and South of Ireland.
The Klebsiella isolates from an estuary and seawater displayed 99.1% and 98.8% cgMLST identity to the hospital sewage isolate respectively. In addition, three pairs of E. coli isolates from different waters also revealed cgMLST similarities, indicating widespread dissemination and persistence of certain strains in the aquatic environment. These findings highlight the need for routine monitoring of water bodies used for recreational and drinking purposes for the presence of multi-drug resistant organisms.
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