Characteristics of extended-spectrum β-lactamase- and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae Isolates from rivers and lakes in Switzerland

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 May;79(9):3021-6. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00054-13. Epub 2013 Mar 1.


One of the currently most relevant resistance mechanisms in Enterobacteriaceae is the production of enzymes that lead to modern expanded-spectrum cephalosporin and even carbapenem resistance, mainly extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and carbapenemases. A worrisome aspect is the spread of ESBL and carbapenemase producers into the environment. The aim of the present study was to assess the occurrence of ESBL- and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae and to further characterize ESBL- and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in rivers and lakes in Switzerland. ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae were detected in 21 (36.2%) of the 58 bodies of water sampled. One river sample tested positive for a carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae strain. Seventy-four individual strains expressing an ESBL phenotype were isolated. Species identification revealed 60 Escherichia coli strains, seven Klebsiella pneumoniae subsp. pneumoniae strains, five Raoultella planticola strains, one Enterobacter cloacae strain, and one Enterobacter amnigenus strain. Three strains were identified as SHV-12 ESBL producers, and 71 strains carried genes encoding CTX-M ESBLs. Of the 71 strains with CTX-M ESBL genes, 8 isolates expressed CTX-M-1, three produced CTX-M-3, 46 produced CTX-M-15, three produced CTX-M-55, one produced CTX-M-79, six produced CTX-M-14, and four produced CTX-M-27. Three of the four CTX-M-27 producers belonged to the multiresistant pandemic sequence type E. coli B2:ST131 that is strongly associated with potentially severe infections in humans and animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Cephalosporins / pharmacology
  • DNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Enterobacteriaceae / classification
  • Enterobacteriaceae / enzymology*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / genetics
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Enterobacteriaceae Infections / microbiology
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / classification
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / enzymology
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / genetics
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Lakes / microbiology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Phylogeny
  • Rivers / microbiology
  • Switzerland
  • Water Microbiology*
  • beta-Lactam Resistance / genetics
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics
  • beta-Lactamases / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cephalosporins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • CTX-M-27, E coli
  • beta-lactamase TEM-3
  • beta-Lactamases
  • carbapenemase