ORCID

Abstract

Antibiotic-resistance gene elements (ARGEs) such as antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs), integrons, and plasmids are key to the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in marine environments. Kuwait’s marine area is vulnerable to sewage contaminants introduced by numerous storm outlets and indiscriminate waste disposal near recreational beaches. Therefore, it has become a significant public health issue and warrants immediate investigation. Coliforms, especially Gram-negative Escherichia coli, have been regarded as significant indicators of recent fecal pollution and carriers of ARGEs. In this study, we applied a genome-based approach to identify ARGs’ prevalence in E. coli isolated from mollusks and coastal water samples collected in a previous study. In addition, we investigated the plasmids and intl1 (class 1 integron) genes coupled with the ARGs, mediating their spread within the Kuwait marine area. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) identified genes resistant to the drug classes of beta-lactams (blaCMY-150, blaCMY-42, blaCTX-M-15, blaDHA-1, blaMIR-1, blaOKP-B-15, blaOXA-1, blaOXA-48, blaTEM-1B, blaTEM-35), trimethoprim (dfrA14, dfrA15, dfrA16, dfrA1, dfrA5, dfrA7), fluroquinolone (oqxA, oqxB, qnrB38, qnrB4, qnrS1), aminoglycoside (aadA2, ant(3’’)-Ia, aph(3’’)-Ib, aph(3’)-Ia, aph(6)-Id), fosfomycin (fosA7, fosA_6, fosA, fosB1), sulfonamide (sul1, sul2, sul3), tetracycline (tet-A, tet-B), and macrolide (mph-A). The MFS-type drug efflux gene mdf-A is also quite common in E. coli isolates (80%). The plasmid ColRNAI was also found to be prevalent in E. coli. The integron gene intI1 and gene cassettes (GC) were reported to be in 36% and 33%, respectively, of total E. coli isolates. A positive and significant (p < 0.001) correlation was observed between phenotypic AMR-intl1 (r = 0.311) and phenotypic AMR-GC (r = 0.188). These findings are useful for the surveillance of horizontal gene transfer of AMR in the marine environments of Kuwait.

DOI

10.3390/antibiotics12091366

Publication Date

2023-08-25

Publication Title

Antibiotics

Volume

12

Issue

9

First Page

1366

Last Page

1366

Embargo Period

2023-11-02

Organisational Unit

School of Biological and Marine Sciences

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