Toxigenic Escherichia coli with high antibiotic resistance index recovered from sands of recreational beaches of Mumbai, India
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Mumbai, India's seven-island city, is known for its sandy beaches as a major tourist attraction, but urbanization and industrialization have weakened the environment. Unregulated sewage disposal and untreated effluents off the coast have made the beach environment vulnerable. Therefore, monitoring water and sand quality at beaches should be mandatory. This study was thus designed to determine the microbiological status of selected sandy beaches, viz. Versova, Juhu, and Girgaon. The study found fecal coliforms in the sand, with stx1 and stx2 genes specific for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli pathotypes in 5.5 % of isolates, whereas the presence of eaeA gene specific for enteropathogenic E. coli pathotype was detected in 12.2 % of isolates, and the presence of the LT and ST genes specific for enterotoxigenic E. coli pathotype was detected in 6.6 % of isolates. Multiple antibiotic-resistant indices indicated high-risk contamination sources. The study suggests routine monitoring of pollution levels at coastal cities' beaches.
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