Susceptibility Survey of Escherichia coli from Water Samples of Southwest Michigan
In an era in which public health and safety remain concerns, research is increasing in the area of antibiotic resistance. A main concern is the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and their impact on human health. Previous research has suggested that a link exists between the presence of antimicrobial resistance in community and hospital strains and antimicrobial use in animal feeds. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is used as an indicator for water quality and infection among humans. Therefore, we isolated and conducted a susceptibility survey of E. coli from water samples in West Michigan. For this study, we selected a panel of antibiotics with known resistance in E. coli. Environmental isolates were compared to susceptibilities of human clinical isolates collected from Bronson Methodist Hospital patients in 2000 to develop a stronger understanding of the organism. Forty-four percent of the 126 environmental E. coli tested were resistant to at least one antibiotic. Of these isolates, 71% showed multiple drug resistance. Most antibiotics showed similar resistance patterns when comparing environmental and human isolates. However, differences were shown for nitrofurantoin, piperacillin, cefazolin, and SXT. The differences found between environmental and human isolates provide information on the broadness of E. coli strains and its. characteristics within both communities. We didn't find definitive conclusions between use of antibiotics in animal feed and resistance. However, we find that these results may suggest a risk to the spread of resistant bacteria and public health.