Co-occurrence of ESBLs and silver resistance determinants among bacterial isolates inhabiting polluted stretch of river Yamuna, India

  • M. T. Siddiqui
  • A. H. Mondal
  • I. Sultan
  • A. Ali
  • Q. M. R. HaqEmail author
Original Paper


In this study, we investigated the prevalence of ESBLs producing bacteria from highly polluted stretch of river Yamuna and co-occurrence of ESBLs and silver resistance gene among tested isolates. Water samples were collected from ten different polluted sites from Delhi stretch of river Yamuna, India. Out of 399 non-duplicate isolates screened, 121 (~ 30%) were found to be ESBLs producers. ESBLs positive isolates showed high level of resistance for β-lactam and non-β-lactam antibiotics, viz. ampicillin, cephalosporins, ciprofloxacin and polymyxin-B. A significantly high level of resistance (26.4%) was observed for last resort antibiotic colistin. 69% of ESBLs positive isolates exhibited multidrug resistance phenotype and high MAR index of different sampling sites ranging from 0.21 to 0.68. Molecular characterization revealed that blaCTX-M was the most prevalent type of ESBL (60.3%) followed by blaTEM (47.9%) and blaSHV (15.7%). We further observed co-occurrence of silver resistance determinants silE, silP and silS in 49.3%, 53.4% and 36.9% isolates harboring blaCTX-M genes. Conjugation transfer assay confirmed the successful transfer of plasmid encoding ESBLs and silver resistance determinants together. To the best of our knowledge, this is first report of co-occurrence of CTX-M and silver resistance gene from aquatic environment. Moreover, this study reports occurrence of ESBL genes in Bacillus safensis and Brachymonas chironomi not reported earlier. Co-occurrence of sil and blaCTX-M gene strengthens the hypothesis of heavy metal exert selection pressure for the emergence of antibiotic resistance.


ESBL CTX-M Antibiotic resistance Silver resistance MDR Aquatic environment 



The authors wish to acknowledge the University grants commission (UGC), India, for financial support in the form of fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. T. Siddiqui
    • 1
  • A. H. Mondal
    • 1
  • I. Sultan
    • 1
  • A. Ali
    • 1
  • Q. M. R. Haq
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiosciencesJamia Millia IslamiaNew DelhiIndia

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