Biology Lecturer Dana Harmon, Assistant Professor of Biology Cristian Ruiz Rueda and a team of CSUN graduate and undergraduate students trace the presence of antibiotic-resistant microbes in the waterways of greater Los Angeles in a paper recently published in the journal Microbiology Open.
The team collected samples from bodies of water across the San Fernando Valley, in Malibu Creek, and in Magic Johnson Park Lake, cultured bacteria from the water, and tested the cultures for resistance to meropenem, a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to treat a variety of infections. They further identified a subset of the resistant bacteria by sequencing the 16S rDNA gene, and tested their resistance to an assortment of other antibiotics. As they conclude,
… our findings show for the first time that freshwater environments in Los Angeles-Southern California represent an un- derappreciated reservoir of bacteria resistant to carbapenems and other antibiotics, many of which carry intrinsic or acquired carbap-enemase genes.— Harmon et al. (2018)
The full paper is Open Access at the journal website.
Featured image: Malibu Creek Rock Pool, one site sampled in Harmon et al. (2018). (Flickr: Tony Hoffarth)