The Open Biochemistry Journal

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Prevalence of Extended-Spectrum β-lactamases in Enterobacteriaceae Isolated from Polluted Wild Fish

Othman A. Baothman1, 2, Yonus A. Alshamrani1, Hasan A. Al-Talhi1, 2, *
1 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2 Microbial Toxins and Natural Products Centre, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia



Antibiotic resistance is becoming a major public health concern worldwide. In marine animals, pollution is associated with the emergence of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-expressing bacteria, resulting in antibiotic resistance. However, the prevalence of these bacteria in wild fish has not been reported.


Accordingly, in this study, we explored the influence of pollution oxidative stress on the incidence of ESBL-expressing Enterobacteriaceae in the gut of wild fish species from the Red Sea coastal region of Jeddah City, Saudi Arabia. Additionally, we evaluated the incidence of varied ESBL genes contributing to the ESBL+ phenotype.


Antibiotic susceptibility tests were performed using cephalosporins and carbapenems against ESBL- and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE)-producing bacteria. Frequent genes contributing to the ESBL+ phenotype were analyzed. Primers targeting ESBLs (e.g., blaCTX, blaSHV, blaTEM, and blaOXA) were used in polymerase chain reaction assays to detect the ESBL+ phenotype.


Screening results from the polluted site revealed ESBL-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae B8 and CRE-resistant Morganella morganii A4. The evolution of the blaCTX-M gene in M. morganii was a consequence of aquatic pollution. The other isolates Acinetobacter pittii and Providencia rettgeri were found in the clean reference site. The isolate M. morganii showed resistance to most mutual antibiotics and expressed some β-lactamase genes.


Our findings provide useful data for selecting marine molecular genomic biomarkers caused by aquatic pollution.

Keywords: Fish, Carbapenem, Lactamase, Antibiotics, Resistance, Enterobacteriaceae.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 14
First Page: 19
Last Page: 24
Publisher Id: TOBIOCJ-14-19
DOI: 10.2174/1874091X02014010019

Article History:

Received Date: 31/10/2019
Revision Received Date: 12/02/2020
Acceptance Date: 13/02/2020
Electronic publication date: 29/06/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Baothman et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Tel: +966556611004; Fax: +966126952288, E-mail:

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