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Prevalence of multidrug resistance in Escherichia coli strains isolated from river Yamuna, Delhi stretch

Richa Bhardwaj, Anshu Gupta, J.K. Garg


River water can act as a sink of multidrug resistant strains that may have serious public health implications. The aim of the study was to assess the antibiotic susceptibility and multidrug resistance character of twenty-eight Escherichia coli strains that have been isolated from water samples collected from the River Yamuna in Delhi stretch, India. The isolates were subjected to antibiotic sensitivity test by Kirby Bauer disc diffusion method as per Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute (CLSI) guidelines using 24 different antibiotics belonging to three different modes of action namely β-lactams, aminoglycosides, phenicols, tetracyclines and quinolones. Most evident results of the study were that none of antibiotics used in the study was 100% effective. Findings have revealed that 100% of the isolates exhibited multi drug resistance (MDR) character and all the isolates were having a very high multiple antibiotic-resistance (MAR) index, suggesting the origin of the isolates to be of high antibiotic usage. Presence of multi drug resistant E. coli in river water can act as a medium to spread antibiotic resistance to other bacteria. The current attempt towards identification of existence of multidrug resistant bacteria isolated from the river Yamuna is a rather timely event which may find utility in the development of strategies to counteract this problem by incorporating the use of antibiotic resistance as a bacteriological water quality parameter.


River Yamuna; Coliforms; Escherichia coli; Antibiotics; Multidrug resistance

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