Isolation and screening of heavy metal resistant bacteria from wastewater: a study of heavy metal co-resistance and antibiotics resistance

Water Sci Technol. 2012;66(10):2041-8. doi: 10.2166/wst.2012.355.


The uncontrolled discharges of wastes containing a large quantity of heavy metal create huge economical and healthcare burdens particularly for people living near that area. However, the bioremediation of metal pollutants from wastewater using metal-resistant bacteria is a very important aspect of environmental biotechnology. In this study, 13 heavy metal resistant bacteria were isolated from the wastewater of wadi El Harrach in the east of Algiers and characterized. These include zinc-, lead-, chromium- and cadmium-resistant bacteria. The metal-resistant isolates characterized include both Gram-negative (77%) and Gram-positive (23%) bacteria. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) of wastewater isolates against the four heavy metals was determined in solid media and ranged from 100 to 1,500 μg/ml. All the isolates showed co-resistance to other heavy metals and antibiotic resistance of which 15% were resistant to one antibiotic and 85% were multi- and bi-antibiotics resistant. The zinc-resistant species Micrococcus luteus was the much more heavy metal resistant. The results of toxicity tests on Vibrio fischeri showed that the DI(50) (5 min) as low as 0.1 carried away luminescence inhibition greater than 50%.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial*
  • Metals, Heavy / toxicity*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid*
  • Water Microbiology
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical