Background To evaluate the antibiogram and antibiotic resistance genes of some Vibrio strains isolated from wastewater final effluents in a rural community of South Africa. V. vulnificus (18), V. metschnikovii (3), V. fluvialis (19) and V. parahaemolyticus (12) strains were isolated from final effluents of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) located in a rural community of South Africa. The disk diffusion method was used for the characterization of the antibiogram of the isolates. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was employed to evaluate the presence of established antibiotic resistance genes using specific primer sets. Results The Vibrio strains showed the typical multidrug-resistance phenotype of an SXT element. They were resistant to sulfamethoxazole (Sul), trimethoprim (Tmp), cotrimoxazole (Cot), chloramphenicol (Chl), streptomycin (Str), ampicillin (Amp), tetracycline (Tet) nalidixic acid (Nal), and gentamicin (Gen). The antibiotic resistance genes detected includes dfr18 and dfrA1 for trimethoprim; floR, tetA, strB, sul2 for chloramphenicol, tetracycline, streptomycin and sulfamethoxazole respectively. Some of these genes were only recently described from clinical isolates, demonstrating genetic exchange between clinical and environmental Vibrio species. Conclusions These results demonstrate that final effluents from wastewater treatment plants are potential reservoirs of various antibiotics resistance genes. Moreover, detection of resistance genes in Vibrio strains obtained from the wastewater final effluents suggests that these resistance determinants might be further disseminated in habitats downstream of the sewage plant, thus constituting a serious health risk to the communities reliant on the receiving waterbodies.