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Monitoring and evaluation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria at a municipal wastewater treatment plant in China



Monitoring and evaluation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria at a municipal wastewater treatment plant in China



Environment International 42: 31-36



The prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is becoming a concern of public health. In order to acquire information on the emission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from WWTP effluents into natural waters, both average antibiotic tolerance and concentrations of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the effluent of a WWTP in Beijing, China were investigated. A new index of IC(50)/MIC ratio (the antibiotic concentration required to inhibit 50% of total heterotrophic bacteria compared to the highest minimum inhibitory concentration value of a group of pathogens according to a specific antibiotic, as defined by CLSI) was used to reflect the average antibiotic tolerance of total heterotrophic bacteria in the secondary effluent. The results showed that the IC(50)/MIC ratios of heterotrophic bacteria in the secondary effluent to penicillin, ampicillin, cephalothin, chloramphenicol and rifampicin were >2, >1, >1, and 1.08, respectively, which reflected a significantly high general level of heterotrophic bacteria found in the secondary effluent resistant to these five antibiotics. The concentrations of penicillin-, ampicillin-, cephalothin-, and chloramphenicol-resistant bacteria were as high as 1.5×10(4)-1.9×10(5), 1.2×10(4)-1.5×10(5), 8.9×10(3)-1.9×10(5) and 2.6×10(4)-2.0×10(5) CFU/mL, and the average percentages in relation to total heterotrophic bacteria were 63%, 47%, 55%, and 69%, respectively. The concentrations of tetracycline- and rifampicin-resistant bacteria were 840-6.1×10(3) and 310-6.1×10(4) CFU/mL with average percentages of 2.6% and 11%, respectively. Furthermore, our study found that five- and six-antibiotic-resistant bacteria were widely distributed in four types of enterobacteria from the secondary effluent. The presence of multiple-antibiotic-resistant bacteria from effluents of WWTPs into natural waters could pose a serious problem as a secondary pollutant of drinking water.

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Accession: 054453464

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PMID: 21450343

DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2011.03.001


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