Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) in Swedish sewage sludge.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat in veterinary medicine and human healthcare. Resistance genes can spread from animals, through the food-chain, and back to humans. Sewage sludge may act as the link back from humans to animals. The main aims of this study were to investigate the occurrence of vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) in treated sewage sludge, in a Swedish waste water treatment plant (WWTP), and to compare VRE isolates from sewage sludge with isolates from humans and chickens. METHODS: During a four month long study, sewage sludge was collected weekly and cultured for VRE. The VRE isolates from sewage sludge were analysed and compared to each other and to human and chicken VRE isolates by biochemical typing (PhenePlate), PFGE and antibiograms. RESULTS: Biochemical typing (PhenePlate-FS) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed prevalence of specific VRE strains in sewage sludge for up to 16 weeks. No connection was found between the VRE strains isolated from sludge, chickens and humans, indicating that human VRE did not originate from Swedish chicken. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated widespread occurrence of VRE in sewage sludge in the studied WWTP. This implies a risk of antimicrobial resistance being spread to new farms and to the society via the environment if the sewage sludge is used on arable land.
Project description:Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) has become an important health care-associated pathogen because of its rapid spread, limited therapeutic options, and possible transfer of vancomycin resistance to more-virulent pathogens. In this study, we compared the ability to detect clonal relationships among VRE isolates by an automated repetitive-sequence-based PCR (Rep-PCR) system (DiversiLab system) to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), the reference method for molecular typing of VRE. Two sets of VRE isolates evaluated in this study were collected by active microbial surveillance at a large teaching hospital in Taiwan during 2008. The first set included 90 isolates randomly selected from the surveillance cohort. The first set consisted of 34 pulsotypes and 10 Rep-PCR types. There was good correlation between the two methods (P < 0.001). The second set included 68 VRE isolates collected from eight clusters of colonization. A dominant clone was detected in five out of eight clusters by both methods. Two clusters were characterized by Rep-PCR as being caused by a dominant clone, whereas PFGE showed polyclonal origins. One cluster was shown to be polyclonal by both methods. A single Rep-PCR clone type was detected among 12 of 14 vancomycin-intermediate enterococci, whereas PFGE detected six pulsotypes. In conclusion, the Rep-PCR method correlated well with PFGE typing but was less discriminative than PFGE in defining clonal relationships. The ease of use and more rapid turnaround time of Rep-PCR compared to PFGE offers a rapid screening method to detect outbreaks of VRE and more rapidly implement control measures. PFGE remains the preferred method to confirm clonal spread.
Project description:Acetate production from food waste or sewage sludge was evaluated in four semi-continuous anaerobic digestion processes. To examine the importance of inoculum and substrate for acid production, two different inoculum sources (a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and a co-digestion plant treating food and industry waste) and two common substrates (sewage sludge and food waste) were used in process operations. The processes were evaluated with regard to the efficiency of hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis and the microbial community structure was determined. Feeding sewage sludge led to mixed acid fermentation and low total acid yield, whereas feeding food waste resulted in the production of high acetate and lactate yields. Inoculum from WWTP with sewage sludge substrate resulted in maintained methane production, despite a low hydraulic retention time. For food waste, the process using inoculum from WWTP produced high levels of lactate (30 g/L) and acetate (10 g/L), while the process initiated with inoculum from the co-digestion plant had higher acetate (25 g/L) and lower lactate (15 g/L) levels. The microbial communities developed during acid production consisted of the major genera Lactobacillus (92-100%) with food waste substrate, and Roseburia (44-45%) and Fastidiosipila (16-36%) with sewage sludge substrate. Use of the outgoing material (hydrolysates) in a biogas production system resulted in a non-significant increase in bio-methane production (+5-20%) compared with direct biogas production from food waste and sewage sludge.
Project description:This paper presents data collected from a survey on sewage sludge treatment and disposal routes originated from activated sludge water treatment in France. The data of 3,679 wastewater treatment plants - representing 52% of WWTP using activated sludge and 69% of sludge disposed by these WWTP - were collected from several French organisms such as SATESE (technical support for wastewater treatment plants), water supply agencies, internal service of agricultural Chambers and public administrations in 71 French departments. The survey allows a detailed description of the processes used for sewage sludge treatment (i.e. thickening, dewatering, stabilization, drying) as well as the type of disposal routes (i.e. land application, incineration, landfill.) and the related amount of sewage sludge disposed in dry matter tons. The data are provided in a raw and analyzed form within the Excel file provided with this article.
Project description:Escherichia coli that are present in the rivers are mostly brought by human and animal feces. Contamination occurs mostly through wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) outflows and field amendment with sewage sludge or manure. However, the survival of these isolates in river-associated wetlands remains unknown. Here, we assessed E. coli population structure in low-anthropized wetlands located along three floodplains to identify the major source of contamination of wetlands, whose functioning is different from the rivers. We retrieved 179 E. coli in water samples collected monthly from 19 sites located in eastern France over 1 year. Phylogroups B1 and B2 were dominant in the E. coli population, while phylogroup A was dominant in isolates resistant to third-generation cephalosporins, which harbored the extended-spectrum ?-lactamase (ESBL) encoding genes blaCTX–M–15 and blaCTX–M–27 in half of the cases. The high proportion of isolates from human source can be attributed to WWTP outflows and the spread of sewage sludge. We analyzed the distribution of the isolates belonging to the most human-associated phylogroups (B2 and D) on a phylogenetic tree of the whole species and compared it with that of isolates retrieved from patients and from WWTP outflows. The distribution of the three E. coli populations was similar, suggesting the absence of a specific population in the environment. Our results suggest that a high proportion of E. coli isolates that reach and survive in low-anthropized environments such as wetlands are from human source. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study assessing E. coli contamination and resistance genes in natural freshwater wetlands.
Project description:Outbreaks of multidrug resistant bacteria including vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in healthcare institutions are increasing in Norway, despite a low level of resistance compared to other European countries. In this study, we describe epidemiological relatedness of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium isolated during an outbreak at a Norwegian hospital in 2012-2013. During the outbreak, 9454 fecal samples were screened for VRE by culture and/or PCR. Isolates from 86 patients carrying the vanA resistance gene were characterized using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and single nucleotide polymorphism typing. PFGE revealed two main clusters, the first comprised 56 isolates related to an initial outbreak strain, and the second comprised 21 isolates originating from a later introduced strain, together causing two partly overlapping outbreaks. Nine isolates, including the index case were not related to the two outbreak clusters. In conclusion, the epidemiological analyses show that the outbreak was discovered by coincidence, and that infection control measures were successful. All typing methods identified the two outbreak clusters, and the experiment congruence between the MALDI-TOF and the PFGE clustering was 63.2%, with a strong correlation (r = 72.4%). Despite lower resolution compared to PFGE, MALDI-TOF may provide an efficient mean for real-time monitoring spread of infection.
Project description:Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are points of control for the environmental dissemination of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) were used as indicators of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in two WWTPs (biologically aerated filter (BAF) and conventional activated sludge (CAS)) in the same municipality. The removal and abundance of enterococci and VRE as well as the species and antimicrobial resistance profiles of VRE were assessed. Enterococci and VRE from the primary and final effluents were enumerated. Results were assessed from an ecological context. VRE was not selected for by either WWTP but the BAF system outperformed the CAS system for the removal of enterococci/VRE. Enterococcus faecalis (n = 151), E. faecium (n = 94) and E. casseliflavus/E. gallinarum (n = 59) were the dominant VRE species isolated. A decrease in levofloxacin resistance in enterococci was observed in the BAF WWTP. An increase in nitrofurantoin resistant (p < 0.001) and a decrease in quinupristin/dalfopristin (p = 0.003) and streptomycin (p = 0.022) resistant enterococci were observed in the CAS WWTP, corresponding to a shift of VRE from E. faecalis to E. faecium. Wastewater treatment processes can be managed to limit the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance determinants into the surrounding environment.
Project description:The Pseudomonas aeruginosa-containing wastewater released by hospitals is treated by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), generating sludge, which is used as a fertilizer, and effluent, which is discharged into rivers. We evaluated the risk of dissemination of antibiotic-resistant P. aeruginosa (AR-PA) from the hospital to the environment via the wastewater network. Over a 10-week period, we sampled weekly 11 points (hospital and urban wastewater, untreated and treated water, sludge) of the wastewater network and the river upstream and downstream of the WWTP of a city in eastern France. We quantified the P. aeruginosa load by colony counting. We determined the susceptibility to 16 antibiotics of 225 isolates, which we sorted into three categories (wild-type, antibiotic-resistant and multidrug-resistant). Extended-spectrum ?-lactamases (ESBLs) and metallo-?-lactamases (MBLs) were identified by gene sequencing. All non-wild-type isolates (n?=?56) and a similar number of wild-type isolates (n?=?54) were genotyped by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing. Almost all the samples (105/110, 95.5%) contained P. aeruginosa, with high loads in hospital wastewater and sludge (?3×10(6) CFU/l or/kg). Most of the multidrug-resistant isolates belonged to ST235, CC111 and ST395. They were found in hospital wastewater and some produced ESBLs such as PER-1 and MBLs such as IMP-29. The WWTP greatly reduced P. aeruginosa counts in effluent, but the P. aeruginosa load in the river was nonetheless higher downstream than upstream from the WWTP. We conclude that the antibiotic-resistant P. aeruginosa released by hospitals is found in the water downstream from the WWTP and in sludge, constituting a potential risk of environmental contamination.
Project description:UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND: Vancomycin-resistant isolates of E. faecalis and E. faecium are of special concern and patients at risk of acquiring a VRE colonization/infection include also intensively-cared neonates. We describe here an ongoing high prevalence of VanB type E. faecium in a neonatal ICU hardly to identify by routine diagnostics. METHODS: During a 10?months' key period 71 E. faecium isolates including 67 vanB-type isolates from 61 patients were collected non-selectively. Vancomycin resistance was determined by different MIC methods (broth microdilution, Vitek® 2) including two Etest® protocols (McFarland 0.5/2.0. on Mueller-Hinton/Brain Heart Infusion agars). Performance of three chromogenic VRE agars to identify the vanB type outbreak VRE was evaluated (BrillianceTM VRE agar, chromIDTM VRE agar, CHROMagarTM VRE). Isolates were genotyped by SmaI- and CeuI-macrorestriction analysis in PFGE, plasmid profiling, vanB Southern hybridisations as well as MLST typing. RESULTS: Majority of vanB isolates (n?=?56, 79%) belonged to a single ST192 outbreak strain type showing an identical PFGE pattern and analyzed representative isolates revealed a chromosomal localization of a vanB2-Tn5382 cluster type. Vancomycin MICs in cation-adjusted MH broth revealed a susceptible value of ?4?mg/L for 31 (55%) of the 56 outbreak VRE isolates. Etest® vancomycin on MH and BHI agars revealed only two vanB VRE isolates with a susceptible result; in general Etest® MIC results were about 1 to 2 doubling dilutions higher than MICs assessed in broth and values after the 48?h readout were 0.5 to 1 doubling dilutions higher for vanB VRE. Of all vanB type VRE only three, three and two isolates did not grow on BrillianceTM VRE agar, chromIDTM VRE agar and CHROMagarTM VRE, respectively. Permanent cross contamination via the patients' surrounding appeared as a possible risk factor for permanent VRE colonization/infection. CONCLUSIONS: Low level expression of vanB resistance may complicate a proper routine diagnostics of vanB VRE and mask an ongoing high VRE prevalence. A high inoculum and growth on rich solid media showed the highest sensitivity in identifying vanB type resistance.
Project description:The number of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) relative to the total number of enterococci was determined in fecal samples from turkeys and three human populations in 1996, each with a different level of contact with turkeys, i.e., turkey farmers, turkey slaughterers, and (sub)urban residents. The percentage of VRE relative to the total enterococcal population (i.e., the degree of resistance) was low (2 to 4%) in all groups (except in six samples). No difference was observed between farmers who used avoparcin and those who did not. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns of the VRE isolates from the different populations were quite heterogeneous, but isolates with the same PFGE pattern were found among animal and human isolates, in addition to the isolates which were described previously (A. E. van den Bogaard, L. B. Jensen, and E. E. Stobberingh, N. Engl. J. Med. 337:1558-1559, 1997). Detailed molecular characterization of vanA-containing transposons from different isolates showed, that in addition to a previously reported strain, similar transposons were present in VRE isolates from turkeys and turkey farmers. Moreover, similar VanA elements were found not only in isolates with the same PFGE pattern but also in other strains from both humans and animals.
Project description:PURPOSE:The objective of this study was to assess exposure to anaerobic bacteria released into air from sewage and sludge at workplaces from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). METHODS:Samples of both sewage and sludge were collected at six sampling points and bioaerosol samples were additionally collected (with the use of a 6-stage Andersen impactor) at ten workplaces covering different stages of the technological process. Qualitative identification of all isolated strains was performed using the biochemical API 20A test. Additionally, the determination of Clostridium pathogens was carried out using 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. RESULTS:The average concentration of anaerobic bacteria in the sewage samples was 5.49?×?104 CFU/mL (GSD?=?85.4) and in sludge-1.42?×?106 CFU/g (GSD?=?5.1). In turn, the average airborne bacterial concentration was at the level of 50 CFU/m3 (GSD?=?5.83) and the highest bacterial contamination (4.06?×?103 CFU/m3) was found in winter at the bar screens. In total, 16 bacterial species were determined, from which the predominant strains belonged to Actinomyces, Bifidobacterium, Clostridium, Propionibacterium and Peptostreptococcus genera. The analysis revealed that mechanical treatment processes were responsible for a substantial emission of anaerobic bacteria into the air. In both the sewage and air samples, Clostridium perfringens pathogen was identified. CONCLUSIONS:Anaerobic bacteria were widely present both in the sewage and in the air at workplaces from the WWTP, especially when the technological process was performed in closed spaces. Anaerobic bacteria formed small aggregates with both wastewater droplets and dust particles of sewage sludge origin and as such may be responsible for adverse health outcomes in exposed workers.