Q-227. Determination of Antimicrobial Resistance Profiles of Enterococcus sp. Isolated from West Coast Public Recreational Waters in Puerto Rico

E. Vazquez-Rivera, L. Lebron-Marrero, R. Ramirez-Ramos, Y. Lizardi-Gerena, K. Malave-Llamas, N. M. Rodriguez-Bonano;
Univ. del Este, Carolina, PUERTO RICO.

Bathing in coastal waters is a favored pastime in Puerto Rico (PR) all year round. Such waters are often contaminated by feces as a result of discharges, polluted storm water runoff and boating wastes. Contamination is not apparent to the naked eye and people don’t know that they are bathing in polluted water. Recent reports indicate that Enterococcus sp. isolated from water has been causing difficult to treat illnesses due to multiple antibiotic resistances. We believe that complicated gastroenteritis, ear and throat infections associated with beach activities in PR are due to the presence of antibiotic resistant Enterococcus sp. in our coastal waters. For this study, four water samples were collected from 10 public beaches. The Membrane Filter procedure was used to processes the samples and the filters were incubated on top of m-E agar. Individual isolates were maintained on BHI agar. Gram stain and either, the RapID-STR Panel or 16S rRNA sequencing were used to identify each isolate. We used E. faecalis ATCC 29212 and E. faecium ATCC 27270 as control strains. Then, we investigated whether the isolates expressed resistance to ciprofloxacin, tetracycline, ampicillin, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, vancomycin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazol. The control strain for the screenings was S. aureus ATCC 25923. The 10 beaches analyzed had a high enterococci count. We selected nine E. faecalis and one E. faecium isolates for screening of antibiotic resistance. All isolates exhibited resistances to tetracycline and erythromycin. The E. faecium isolate exhibited resistances to tetracycline, ciprofloxacin and erythromycin. Three E. faecalis isolates exhibited resistance to ciprofloxacin. A fourth E. faecalis isolate exhibited resistance to chloramphenicol and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazol. None of the enterococci showed resistance to either vancomycin or ampicillin. Currently, this project is in progress and we will include water samples from the north and south coasts of PR. The results obtained will allow us to determine if our coastal waters is contributing to the dissemination of hard to treat infections among beach bathers in Puerto Rico.