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Classification of Antibiotic Resistance Patterns of Indicator Bacteria by Discriminant Analysis: Use in Predicting the Source of Fecal Contamination in Subtropical Waters

By Valerie J. Harwood, John Whitlock and Victoria Withington


The antibiotic resistance patterns of fecal streptococci and fecal coliforms isolated from domestic wastewater and animal feces were determined using a battery of antibiotics (amoxicillin, ampicillin, cephalothin, chlortetracycline, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, erythromycin, streptomycin, and vancomycin) at four concentrations each. The sources of animal feces included wild birds, cattle, chickens, dogs, pigs, and raccoons. Antibiotic resistance patterns of fecal streptococci and fecal coliforms from known sources were grouped into two separate databases, and discriminant analysis of these patterns was used to establish the relationship between the antibiotic resistance patterns and the bacterial source. The fecal streptococcus and fecal coliform databases classified isolates from known sources with similar accuracies. The average rate of correct classification for the fecal streptococcus database was 62.3%, and that for the fecal coliform database was 63.9%. The sources of fecal streptococci and fecal coliforms isolated from surface waters were identified by discriminant analysis of their antibiotic resistance patterns. Both databases identified the source of indicator bacteria isolated from surface waters directly impacted by septic tank discharges as human. At sample sites selected for relatively low anthropogenic impact, the dominant sources of indicator bacteria were identified as various animals. The antibiotic resistance analysis technique promises to be a useful tool in assessing sources of fecal contamination in subtropical waters, such as those in Florida

Topics: Public Health Microbiology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:92209
Provided by: PubMed Central
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