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Research Project: Monitoring and Molecular Characterization of Antimicrobial Resistance in Foodborne Bacteria

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Title: The prevalence and antimicrobial resistance phenotypes of Salmonella, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus sp. in surface water

item Jackson, Charlene
item Frye, Jonathan
item CHO, SOHYUN - Orise Fellow

Submitted to: Letters in Applied Microbiology
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2020
Publication Date: 4/18/2020
Citation: Jackson, C.R., Frye, J.G., Cho, S. 2020. The prevalence and antimicrobial resistance phenotypes of Salmonella, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus sp. in surface water. Letters in Applied Microbiology.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Editorial: Antimicrobial compounds have been used to control and prevent bacterial infections in different systems including humans, food animals, companion animals, and plants/crops. However, efficacy of antimicrobials has been threatened due to antimicrobial resistance which has ultimately become a public health crisis on a global scale. In order to mitigate the effect of antimicrobial resistance, a One Health approach has been initiated that underscores the importance of collaboration between clinical, veterinary, and environmental disciplines to improve overall health outcomes in each system. Research on antimicrobial resistance has primarily focused on humans and animals; much less has been reported on the contribution of the environment, including water, to transmission, dissemination, and persistence of resistant bacteria. Maintenance and preservation of safe water for human and agricultural use is critical to minimize spread of disease and protect public health. Water quality can be defined in terms of microbial and/or chemical pollutants. Bacterial pathogens, such as Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Vibrio, are common and widespread microbial hazards of water often originating from the gastrointestinal tract of the very sources (humans, livestock, and wildlife) that have the greatest need for the water. These microbial pollutants have historically been evaluated using fecal indicator organisms notably enterococci, commensal E. coli, and Clostridium perfringens. Anthropogenic chemicals also appear to be widespread and stable in water sources and their overall impact on the environment is yet unknown. The combination of both types of pollutants increases the impact of disease caused by waterborne pathogens by contributing to development of antimicrobial resistance in those microbes. In addition to transfer of antimicrobial resistant pathogens from polluted water to humans and animals via eating, drinking, inhalation, or physical contact, antimicrobial resistant waterborne pathogens also contaminate fish and other seafood rendering then unsafe for consumption. Often overlooked is fish for industrial purposes such as ornamental fish breeding. Humans handle these aquatic animals for home or commercial aquariums and ponds unaware of the risk of contracting serious infections that may be resistant to antimicrobials used for treatment. Even with the rising evidence of the hazards of antimicrobial resistant pathogens in water and risk of transfer of antibiotic resistance, there is a paucity of data on this subject in the published literature. As investigation of the role of aquatic ecosystems in the dissemination of pathogenic antimicrobial resistant bacteria to various hosts is greatly needed to define implications of this exposure, this special issue of Letters in Applied Microbiology focuses on the latest discoveries serving to expand the knowledge of the important topic of antimicrobial resistant pathogens in water. This series of articles examines phenotypic and genotypic resistance to medically important antimicrobials, virulence attributes, and impact of resistant pathogens on various aquatic animals and water systems. These studies aim to provide a basic understanding of the characteristics of antimicrobial resistant pathogens in water in order to define effective mitigation strategies to combat these microbes.