USF researcher discusses research showing high-level antibiotic resistant bacteria in water following sewage spill

A September 2014 sewer line break in St. Petersburg, Florida dumped 500,000 gallons untreated wastewater into neighborhoods and into Boca Ciega Bay and a team of University of South Florida (USF) researchers went to sample the waters and what they found was a little concerning.


The lead researcher of a study published in the journal, Applied and Environmental MicrobiologyUSF doctoral student, Suzanne Young appeared on the Tampa talk radio show, Outbreak News This  Week to discuss the research and their findings.

Young and her team found Enterococcus faecium harboring the vanA gene in water and sediment up to three days after a sewage spill, and the qPCR signal for vanA persisted for an additional week, an organism not typically found outside a hospital environment.

Ms. Young discussed this public health concern in the interview below:

The Outbreak News This Week Radio Show, the first and only radio program dedicated to infectious disease and health news and information, airs every Sunday at 8 pm ET in the Tampa Bay area on AM 1380 The Biz and online at

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