Amritha G. Kulkarni, Mohith Sen Bhandarkar and A.B. Vedamurthy*


Most of the original antibiotics have been rendered obsolete due to antibiotic overuse, abuse, and misuse. Hospital effluents and sewage are an excellent compartment for the selection of Multidrug-resistant(MDR) opportunistic, facultative pathogens such as Escherichia coli, which cause many of the nosocomial infections. The present study reveals the resistance profile of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli isolated from hospital wastewater effluents of different hospitals in north Karnataka and the factors conferring multidrug-resistance. Several strains of Escherichia coli were isolated from hospital effluents and analyzed by agar disc diffusion to determine their susceptibility patterns to antimicrobial agents commonly used in these hospitals. The strain of Escherichia coli S-2 identified as Escherichia coli-SUS5EC by 16s-rRNA sequencing was found to be resistant to maximum number of antibiotics such as Ceftriaxone, Cefotaxime, Erythromycin, Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Azithromycin out of thirteen antibiotics used and hence proven to be a multidrug-resistant mutant of Escherichia coli. The Plasmid DNA was isolated and plasmid mediated multidrug-resistance was confirmed by plasmid curing with the above-mentioned antibiotics. This finding substantiates the hypothesis that hospital sewage effluents contribute to the dissemination of transferable multidrug-resistance in bacteria. Thus, public health potential and the possible impact of Multidrug-resistant commensal Escherichia coli and other bacteria occurring in hospital effluents can be a major threat to the treatment of disease by commercially available antibiotics and is a major concern which needs further investigation and monitoring and the mechanisms for such diffusion, and methods to block the entry of such strains into the human population and their subsequent spread, need to be defined.

Keywords: Hospital Effluents, Antibiotic resistance, Multidrug resistant, Escherichia coli, Plasmid, Plasmid Curing.

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