DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms12020301 ISSN: 2076-2607

The Antimicrobial Resistance of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli from Diarrheal Patients and the Environment in Two Geographically Distinct Rural Areas in Bangladesh over the Years

Fatema-Tuz Johura, Marzia Sultana, Abdus Sadique, Shirajum Monira, David A. Sack, Richard Bradley Sack, Munirul Alam, Subhra Chakraborty
  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an unprecedented global health challenge, involving the transfer of bacteria and genes between humans and the environment. We simultaneously and longitudinally determined the AMR of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) strains isolated from diarrheal patients and an aquatic environment over two years from two geographically distinct locations, Coastal Mathbaria and Northern Chhatak in Bangladesh. A total of 60% and 72% of ETEC strains from the patients in Mathbaria and Chhatak, respectively, were multi-drug resistant (MDR) with a high proportion of ETEC resistant to nalidixic acid (80.7%), macrolides (49.1–89.7%), ampicillin (57.9–69%), and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (55.2%). From the surface water, 68.8% and 30% of ETEC were MDR in Mathbaria and Chhatak, respectively, with a high proportion of ETEC strains resistant to macrolides (87.5–100%), ampicillin (50–75%), ceftriaxone (62.5%), and nalidixic acid (40%). Notably, 80–100% of the ETEC strains were susceptible to tetracycline and quinolones (ciprofloxacin and norfloxacin), both in clinical and aquatic ETEC. The AMR varied by the ETEC toxin types. The patterns of excessive or limited consumption of drugs to treat diarrhea over time in Bangladesh were reflected in the ETEC AMR from the patients and the environment. The high prevalence of MDR-ETEC strains in humans and the environment is of concern, which calls for vaccines and other preventative measures against ETEC.

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