The taxonomic diversity and antibiotic resistance phenotypes of aeromonads were examined in samples from drinking and waste water treatment plants (surface, ground and disinfected water in a drinking water treatment plant, and raw and treated waste water) and tap water. Bacteria identification and intra-species variation were determined based on the analysis of the 16S rRNA, gyrB and cpn60 gene sequences. Resistance phenotypes were determined using the disc diffusion method. Aeromonas veronii prevailed in raw surface water, Aeromonas hydrophyla in ozonated water, and Aeromonas media and Aeromonas puntacta in waste water. No aeromonads were detected in ground water, after the chlorination tank or in tap water. Resistance to ceftazidime or meropenem was detected in isolates from the drinking water treatment plant and waste water isolates were intrinsically resistant to nalidixic acid. Most of the times, quinolone resistance was associated with the gyrA mutation in serine 83. The gene qnrS, but not the genes qnrA, B, C, D or qepA, was detected in both surface and waste water isolates. The gene aac(6')-ib-cr was detected in different waste water strains isolated in the presence of ciprofloxacin. Both quinolone resistance genes were detected only in the species A. media. This is the first study tracking antimicrobial resistance in aeromonads in drinking, tap and waste water and the importance of these bacteria as vectors of resistance in aquatic environments is discussed.
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