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Molecular profiling of multidrug-resistant river water isolates: insights into resistance mechanism and potential inhibitors


Polluted waters are an important reservoir for antibiotic resistance genes and multidrug-resistant bacteria. This report describes the microbial community, antibiotic resistance genes, and the genetic profile of extended spectrum β-lactamase strains isolated from rivers at, Pune, India. ESBL-producing bacteria isolated from diverse river water catchments running through Pune City were characterized for their antibiotic resistance. The microbial community and types of genes which confer antibiotic resistance were identified followed by the isolation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria on selective media and their genome analysis. Four representative isolates were sequenced using next generation sequencing for genomic analysis. They were identified as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and two isolates were Enterobacter cloacae. The genes associated with the multidrug efflux pumps, such as tolC, macA, macB, adeL, and rosB, were detected in the isolates. As MacAB-TolC is an ABC type efflux pump responsible for conferring resistance in bacteria to several antibiotics, potential efflux pump inhibitors were identified by molecular docking. The homology model of their MacB protein with that from Escherichia coli K12 demonstrated structural changes in different motifs of MacB. Molecular docking of reported efflux pump inhibitors revealed the highest binding affinity of compound MC207-110 against MacB. It also details the potential efflux pump inhibitors that can serve as possible drug targets in drug development and discovery.

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Authors acknowledge the necessary infrastructure and support from University of Skӧvde, Sweden; Örebro University, Sweden and Dr. D.Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, India.


This study was supported by FORMAS, Swedish Research Council through the research grant (219-2014-837).

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Correspondence to Jana Jass or Neelu Nawani.

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Yewale, P.P., Lokhande, K.B., Sridhar, A. et al. Molecular profiling of multidrug-resistant river water isolates: insights into resistance mechanism and potential inhibitors. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2019).

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  • Extended spectrum β-lactamase
  • Multidrug efflux pump
  • Efflux pump inhibitors
  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • MacB