Open Access

Antibiotic and Disinfectant Resistance in Tap Water Strains – Insight into the Resistance of Environmental Bacteria


Although antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) have been isolated from tap water worldwide, the knowledge of their resistance patterns is still scarce. Both horizontal and vertical gene transfer has been suggested to contribute to the resistance spread among tap water bacteria. In this study, ARB were isolated from finished water collected at two independent water treatment plants (WTPs) and tap water collected at several point-of-use taps during summer and winter sampling campaigns. A total of 24 strains were identified to genus or species level and subjected to antibiotic and disinfectant susceptibility testing. The investigated tap water ARB belonged to phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes. The majority of the isolates proved multidrug resistant and resistant to chemical disinfectant. Neither seasonal nor WTP-dependent variabilities in antibiotic or disinfectant resistance were found. Antibiotics most effective against the investigated isolates included imipenem, tetracyclines, erythromycin, and least effective – aztreonam, cefotaxime, amoxicillin, and ceftazidime. The most resistant strains originate from Afipia sp. and Methylobacterium sp. Comparing resistance patterns of isolated tap water ARB with literature reports concerning the same genera or species confirms intra-genus or even intra-specific variabilities of environmental bacteria. Neither species-specific nor acquired resistance can be excluded.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology