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Behavior of drug resistant fecal coliforms and R plasmids in a wastewater treatment plant

Behavior of drug resistant fecal coliforms and R plasmids in a wastewater treatment plant

Japanese Journal of Public Health 37(2): 83-90

Fecal coliforms were isolated from the inlet, the primary sedimentation tank, the activated sludge digestion tank, the final settling tank, the outlet and the return activated sludge drain at the municipal wastewater plant in Ube City, and examined for drug resistance and presence of R plasmids. Drug concentrations employed to distinguish resistant isolates from sensitive isolates were 25 micrograms/ml for tetracycline, kanamycin, chloramphenicol and streptomycin, 50 micrograms/ml for ampicillin, nalidixic acid and rifampicin, and 200 micrograms/ml for sulfisoxazole, respectively. Of a total of 900 isolates, 45.7% were drug resistant and 51.1% of them carried R plasmids. The further along that wastewater had progressed through the treatment process the greater the tendency was for appearance of the multiresistant isolates. These isolates also were shown to simultaneously carry transferable R plasmids. Observed resistant patterns of R plasmids were mainly multiple and encoded to resistance to tetracycline, chloramphenicol, streptomycin and sulfisoxazole. It became clear that multiplication of R plasmids took place in the activated sludge digestion tank. This study show that drug resistance transfer mediated by these R plasmids may occur in actual wastewater treatment plants.

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Accession: 039373011

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PMID: 2131972

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