Prevalence and characterization of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in spring waters

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2015 Dec;61(6):544-8. doi: 10.1111/lam.12489. Epub 2015 Oct 2.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and characterization of extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae from spring waters in Mountain Tai of China. ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae were found in four out of 50 sampled spring waters (4/50, 8·0%) and a total of 16 non-duplicate ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae were obtained, including 13 Escherichia coli (E. coli) and three Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kl. pneumoniae). All 16 nonduplicate ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae isolates harboured genes encoding CTX-M ESBLs, among which six expressed CTX-M-15, five produced CTX-M-14, three produced CTX-M-55 and two expressed CTX-M-27. Four multilocus sequence types (ST) were found and ST131 was the dominant type (8/16, 50·0%). Taken together, the contamination of ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae were present in spring waters of Mountain Tai.

Significance and impact of the study: The results indicated that spring waters could become a reservoir of antibiotic resistant bacteria and contribute to the spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria via drinking water or food chain. In addition, wastewater discharge of restaurants or hotels may be an important contribution source of antibiotic resistant bacteria in spring waters.

Keywords: Enterobacteriaceae; Mountain Tai; extended-spectrum beta-lactamases; sequence type; spring water.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • China
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / isolation & purification
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects*
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / enzymology
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / genetics
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / isolation & purification
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Natural Springs / microbiology*
  • Water Microbiology
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics*
  • beta-Lactamases / metabolism


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • beta-Lactamases
  • beta-lactamase CTX-M, E coli