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Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5242

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Michigan Water Science Center

Prepared in cooperation with the Oakland County Health Department, Michigan

Antibiotic-Resistant Fecal Bacteria, Antibiotics, and Mercury in Surface Waters of Oakland County, Michigan, 2005–2006

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5242

By Lisa R. Fogarty, Joseph W. Duris, Suzanne L. Crowley, and Nicole Hardigan


This report is available below as a 38-page PDF for viewing and printing.


Abstract

Water samples collected from 20 stream sites in Oakland and Macomb Counties, Mich., were analyzed to learn more about the occurrence of cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and the co-occurrence of antibiotics and mercury in area streams. Fecal indicator bacteria concentrations exceeded the Michigan recreational water-quality standard of 300 E. coli colony-forming units (CFU) per 100 milliliters of water in 19 of 35 stream-water samples collected in Oakland County. A gene commonly associated with enterococci from humans was detected in samples from Paint Creek at Rochester and Evans Ditch at Southfield, indicating that human fecal waste is a possible source of fecal contamination at these sites. E. coli resistant to the cephalosporin antibiotics (cefoxitin and/or ceftriaxone) were found at all sites on at least one occasion. The highest percentages of E. coli isolates resistant to cefoxitin and ceftriaxone were 71 percent (Clinton River at Auburn Hills) and 19 percent (Sashabaw Creek near Drayton Plains), respectively. Cephalosporin-resistant E. coli was detected more frequently in samples from intensively urbanized or industrialized areas than in samples from less urbanized areas. VRE were not detected in any sample collected in this study. Multiple antibiotics (azithromycin, erythromycin, ofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim) were detected in water samples from the Clinton River at Auburn Hills, and tylosin (an antibiotic used in veterinary medicine and livestock production that belongs to the macrolide group, along with erythromycin) was detected in one water sample from Paint Creek at Rochester. Concentrations of total mercury were as high as 19.8 nanograms per liter (Evans Ditch at Southfield). There was no relation among percentage of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and measured concentrations of antibiotics or mercury in the water. Genetic elements capable of exchanging multiple antibiotic-resistance genes (class I integrons) were detected in several samples, indicating that the resistance carried by these organisms may be transferable to other bacteria, including disease-causing bacteria.

Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and Scope

Description of Study Area

Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in the Environment

Analytical and Sampling Methods

Field Measurements

Collection of Samples for Chemical Analyses

Collection of Samples for Bacteria Analyses

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Results of Data Analyses

Fecal Indicator Bacteria Enumeration

Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci and Human-Fecal-Enterococci Gene

Occurrence of Cephalosporin-Resistant E. coli

Spatial and Temporal Patterns in the Percentage of Cephalosporin-Resistant E. coli

Antibiotic Concentrations and Cephalosporin-Resistant E. coli

Mercury- and Cephalosporin-Resistant E. coli

Integron Detection

Results From Clinton River Watershed Study

Future Studies

Summary and Conclusions

References Cited

Figures

  1. Map showing sampling locations for study sites and land use/land cover for Oakland County, Mich.
  2. Map showing sampling locations for study sites and land use/land cover for Clinton River Watershed study.
3–6. Graphs showing:
3. Fecal indicator bacteria concentrations for samples collected September 19, 2005, and April 28, June 28, August 9,
    and August 23, 2006, at Oakland County study sites.
4. Percentage of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli isolates and daily mean streamflow on five sampling dates at study sites,
    Oakland County.
5. Precipitation totals on the day of sample collection and in the preceding 24 and 72 hours at locations in Oakland County.
6. Percentage of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli isolates and total mercury concentration for samples collected on five
    sampling dates at Oakland County study sites.
  7. Schematic diagram of the relation of transferable genetic elements: plasmid, transposon, integron, and resistance genes.
  8–10. Graphs showing:
  8. E. coli concentrations for samples collected April 26 and August 23, 2006, at Clinton River Watershed study sites.
  9. Enterococci concentrations for samples collected April 26 and August 23, 2006, at Clinton River Watershed study sites.
  10. Percentage of E. coli isolates resistant to cefoxitin and ceftriaxone with respect to total mercury concentration
     for Clinton River Watershed study sites.
  11. Map showing percentage of E. coli isolates resistant to cefoxitin for samples collected April 26 and August 23, 2006,
     at the Clinton River Watershed study sites.
  12. Map showing percentage of E. coli isolates resistant to ceftriaxone for samples collected April 26 and August 23, 2006,
     at the Clinton River Watershed study sites.

 

Tables

1. Sample-collection sites for the Oakland County, Mich., study, 2006.
2. Land-cover percentages for Oakland County study sites, 2000.
3. Clinton River Watershed study sites, 2006.
  4. Summary of field measurements (dissolved oxygen, pH, specific conductance, and streamflow) and total mercury, antibiotic,
    and bacteria samples collected September 19, 2005, through August 23, 2006, in Oakland and Macomb Counties.
  5. List of antibiotics for which samples were analyzed in the Oakland County study.
  6. Concentrations of antibiotics detected in replicate samples collected at Clinton River at Auburn Hills, Mich., August 9, 2006.
  7. Field measurements for samples collected at Oakland County study sites, September 2005 through August 2006.
 

8. Fecal indicator bacteria concentrations for samples collected at Oakland County study sites, September 2005 through August 2006.

  9. Percentage of E. coli isolates resistant to tested antibiotics for samples collected at Oakland County study sites,
    September 2005 through August 2006.
  10. Antibiotics detected in samples collected September 2005 through August 2006 at Oakland County study sites.
  11. Mercury concentration in samples collected September 2005 through August 2006 at Oakland County study sites.
  12. Results of polymerase chain reactions (PCR) for integron structures in samples collected September 2005 through
     August 2006 at Oakland County study sites.

 


Availability

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Suggested Citation:

Fogarty, L.R., Duris, J.W., Crowley, S.L., and Hardigan, Nicole, 2007, Antibiotic-resistant fecal bacteria, antibiotics, and mercury in surface waters of Oakland County, Michigan, 2005–2006: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007–5242, 30 p. Date Posted: November 29, 2007: [https://pubs.water.usgs.gov/sir20075242/]




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