In the past few decades, the medical community has faced a rising problem in the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB) and the difficulty of treating related infections. The presence of these bacteria in high-traffic bodies of water, as well as the presence of the antibiotic resistance genes (ARG) floating freely in the water, pose the threat of antibiotic-resistant related infections in individuals living and recreating in these areas of southeast Louisiana. Water samples from coastal waters of southeast Louisiana were analyzed using chemical, microbial, and molecular methods to determine the presence of ARB and ARG. The main species analyzed include Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp., and Enterobacter spp. They were tested for resistance to carbapenem, monobactam, penicillin, tetracycline, sulfonamide, and cephalosporin antibiotics. The results indicated significant numbers of ARBs were consistently found in the coastal waters, and ARGs were found throughout testing. These results show that these high-traffic recreational bodies of water may be putting wildlife and humans at risk for antibiotic-resistant-related illnesses.

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