Occurrence of Antibiotic Resistance in the Mediterranean Sea
Seawater could be considered a reservoir of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes. In this communication, we evaluated the presence of bacterial strains in seawater collected from different coasts of Sicily by combining microbiological and molecular methods. Specifically, we isolated viable bacteria that were tested for their antibiotic resistance profile and detected both antibiotic and heavy metal resistance genes. Both antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, Vibrio and Aeromonas, and specific antibiotic resistance genes were found in the seawater samples. Alarming levels of resistance were determined towards cefazolin, streptomycin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, ceftriaxone, and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim, and mainly genes conferring resistance to β-lactamic and sulfonamide antibiotics were detected.
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