Aeromonas hydrophila strains isolated from different naturally polluted environments (ten from wastewater, six from bay used for aquaculture, eight from sea coast water and six from fish) were subjected to 13 antibiotics, and to four heavy metals (Copper, Cobalt, Zinc and Mercury) by using agar diffusion and agar dilution methods, respectively. In addition, effect of heavy metals on slime production was also investigated. Results of the antibiotic resistance agreed with those of heavy metals resistance, however, treated wastewater and bay strains were much tolerant than seawater and fish bacteria. The range of metal concentrations that was tolerated in the liquid media yielded information on the tolerance levels of A. hydrophila to different tested concentrations of metals. Copper and zinc were the best tolerated metals. Mercury was the most toxic component for all bacteria. Almost all A. hydrophila produced slime and a small number of strains have changed their morphotype under the heavy metals concentration. Our results have shown that Tunisian aquatic biotopes have a significant proportion of antibiotic and heavy metal resistant to A. hydrophila.
Key words: Antibiotic resistance, Aeromonas hydrophila, heavy metals and slime producing.
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