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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382On-line version ISSN 1678-4405


NUNEZ, L.  and  MORETTON, J.. Disinfectant-resistant bacteria in Buenos Aires city hospital wastewater. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2007, vol.38, n.4, pp.644-648. ISSN 1517-8382.

Large quantities of disinfectants are used in hospitals, externally on human skin or to eliminate microorganisms from inanimate objects. After use, residual quantities of these products reach the wastewater, exposing the bacteria that survive in hospital wastewaters to a wide range of biocides that could act as a selective pressure for the development of resistance. Increasing attention has been directed recently to the resistance of bacteria to disinfectants. The aim of this paper was to determine the disinfectant bacterial resistance pattern of the microflora released to the urban sewer system by hospital effluents. The characterization of the waste water microflora was performed by determination of the CFU of heterotrophic bacteria, fecal indicator bacteria, Pseudomonas sp. and Staphylococcus sp., in a Buenos Aires hospital effluent. The bacterial resistance to the disinfectants more frequently used in the hospital practice, glutaraldehyde, chlorhexidine and povidone-iodine, was then evaluated. Disinfectant resistant bacterial strains were isolated and typified. Between 103 and 106 chlorexidine resistant bacteria/100 mL were isolated from the samples. Bacteria resistant to other disinfectants ranged between 103 and 104 /100 mL. The bacterial population resistant to desinfectants to was mainly composed by Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus spp, and Bacillus spp, which are highly associated to nosocomial infections. The results obtained show that the hospital effluents are of importance in the bacterial resistance selection process, particularly in the case of disinfectants.

Keywords : disinfectant; resistance; hospital effluent.

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