JOURNAL OF MICROBIOLOGY, vol.45, no.5, pp.379-387, 2007 (SCI-Expanded)
A hundred and seventeen antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli strains were isolated from public tap and spring waters which were polluted by fecal coliforms. There were no significant differences between two water sources as to the coliform pollution level (p > 0.05). All E. coli isolates were detected to be resistant to one or more antibiotics tested. Nearly 42% of the isolates showed multiresistant phenotype. Three (2.5%) of these isolates contained class 1 integron. Sequencing analysis of variable regions of the class 1 integrons showed two gene cassette arrays, dfr1-aadA1 and dhfrA17-aadA5. Resistance to ampicillin, tetracycline or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was transferable according to the results of conjugation experiments. The rate of tetracycline resistance was 15%. tet(A)-mediated tetracycline resistance was widespread among tetracycline-resistant E. coli isolates. Genotyping by BOX-polymerase chain reaction (BOX-PCR) showed that some of the strains were epidemiologically related. This is the first report on the prevalence and characterization of class 1 integron-containing E. coli isolates of environmental origin in Turkey.