Comparing antibiotic resistance and virulence profiles of Enterococcus faecium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa from environmental and clinical settings

Julia Denissen, Benjamin Havenga, Brandon Reyneke, Sehaam Khan, Wesaal Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Antibiotic resistance and virulence profiles of Enterococcus faecium, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, isolated from water sources collected in informal settlements, were compared to clinical counterparts. Cluster analysis using repetitive extragenic palindromic sequence-based polymerase chain reaction (REP-PCR) indicated that, for each respective species, low genetic relatedness was observed between most of the clinical and environmental isolates, with only one clinical P. aeruginosa (PAO1) and one clinical K. pneumoniae (P2) exhibiting high genetic similarity to the environmental strains. Based on the antibiograms, the clinical E. faecium Ef CD1 was extensively drug resistant (XDR); all K. pneumoniae isolates (n = 12) (except K. pneumoniae ATCC 13883) were multidrug resistant (MDR), while the P. aeruginosa (n = 16) isolates exhibited higher susceptibility profiles. The tetM gene (tetracycline resistance) was identified in 47.4 % (n = 6 environmental; n = 3 clinical) of the E. faecium isolates, while the blaKPC gene (carbapenem resistance) was detected in 52.6 % (n = 7 environmental; n = 3 clinical) and 15.4 % (n = 2 environmental) of the E. faecium and K. pneumoniae isolates, respectively. The E. faecium isolates were predominantly poor biofilm formers, the K. pneumoniae isolates were moderate biofilm formers, while the P. aeruginosa isolates were strong biofilm formers. All E. faecium and K. pneumoniae isolates were gamma (γ)-haemolytic, non-gelatinase producing (E. faecium only), and non-hypermucoviscous (K. pneumoniae only), while the P. aeruginosa isolates exhibited beta (β)-haemolysis and produced gelatinase. The fimH (type 1 fimbriae adhesion) and ugE (uridine diphosphate galacturonate 4-epimerase synthesis) virulence genes were detected in the K. pneumoniae isolates, while the P. aeruginosa isolates possessed the phzM (phenazine production) and algD (alginate biosynthesis) genes. Similarities in antibiotic resistance and virulence profiles of environmental and clinical E. faecium, K. pneumoniae, and P. aeruginosa, thus highlights the potential health risks posed by using environmental water sources for daily water needs in low-and-middle-income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere30215
JournalHeliyon
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2024

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance and virulence comparison
  • Clinical strains
  • Enterococcus faecium
  • Environmental strains
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Multidisciplinary

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