Incidence of diverse integrons and β-lactamase genes in environmental Enterobacteriaceae isolates from Jiaozhou Bay, China

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Environmental microbiology investigation was performed to determine the molecular diversity of β-lactamase genes among ampicillin-resistant bacteria from Jiaozhou Bay. β-lactamase genes were detected in 93.8% of the bacterial isolates identified as Enterobacteriaceae. The most frequently detected gene was blaTEM, followed by blaSHV, blaOAX-1, blaMOX and blaCMY. Most of the isolates (68.8%) were positive for the intI1 integrase gene, and two isolates were also found for the intI2 gene. The dfr and aadA gene cassettes were predominant. Anthropogenic contamination from onshore sewage processing plants might contribute predominantly to the β-lactamase gene reservoir in the studied coastal waters. Environmental antibiotic-resistant bacteria and resistance genes may serve as bioindicators of coastal environmental quality or biotracers of the potential contamination sources. This is the first report of the prevalence and characterization of β-lactamase genes and integrons in coastal Enterobacteriaceae from China.

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