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Transfer of Multidrug Resistance among Bacteria Isolated from Industrial Wastes

One hundred and twenty two (122) bacterial isolates belonging to the genera Micrococcus, Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, Actinomyces, Bacillus, Corynebacterium, Brucella, Shigella, Hafnia, Proteus and Salmonella were isolated from four different industrial waste sites. Thirty five (28.68%) of these were resistant to two or more antibiotics. Of these, multiple drug resistant species of Pseudomonas and Proteus were chosen as donors in resistance transfer studies with selected susceptible environmental and clinical isolates as recipients. Results showed that the drug resistance is transferable among environmental isolates and from environmental to clinical isolates. Following treatment with sodium dodecyl sulphate in a resistance curing protocol, thirty one (88. 57%) of the resistant isolates lost resistance to all the antimicrobial drugs to which they were previously resistant. These findings suggest that the resistance may be plasmid-mediated and promiscuous. The possible public health implication of this is discussed.

Eze, E. A., Ngananga, B. C., Ugwu, K. O. and Nwuche C. O. Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.

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