Susceptibility Survey of Escherichia coli from Water Samples of Southwest Michigan
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In an era in which public health and safety remain grave concerns, research is increasing in the area of microbial virulence and antibiotic resistance. A main concern is the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and how it may affect human health. Previous research has suggested that a link exists between antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use in animal feeds. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is used as an indicator for water quality and is a common cause of 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 that would show the presence of each resistance factor known to exist 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 and its virulence. Hypotheses: We suspected resistance would be found more prominently near agricultural sites than non-agricultural sites. We also suspected that the environmental isolates would show similar findings among human clinical isolates. In addition, resistant isolates would carry multiple resistant factors and be cross resistant to unrelated antibiotic types.