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Fate of antibiotic resistant cultivable heterotrophic bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater treatment processes



Fate of antibiotic resistant cultivable heterotrophic bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater treatment processes



Chemosphere 135: 138-145



Antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are emerging contaminants of environmental concern. Heterotrophic bacteria in activated sludge have an important role in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). However, the fate of cultivable heterotrophic ARB and ARGs in WWPTs process remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the antibiotic-resistant phenotypes of cultivable heterotrophic bacteria from influent and effluent water of three WWTPs and analysed thirteen ARGs in ARB and in activated sludge from anoxic, anaerobic and aerobic compartments. From each influent or effluent sample of the three plants, 200 isolates were randomly tested for susceptibility to 12 antibiotics. In these samples, between 5% and 64% isolates showed resistance to >9 antibiotics and the proportion of >9-drug-resistant bacteria was lower in isolates from effluent than from influent. Eighteen genera were identified in 188 isolates from influent (n=94) and effluent (n=94) of one WWTP. Six genera (Aeromonas, Bacillus, Lysinibacillus, Microbacterium, Providencia, and Staphylococcus) were detected in both influent and effluent samples. Gram-negative and -positive isolates dominated in influent and effluent, respectively. The 13 tetracycline-, sulphonamide-, streptomycin- and β-lactam-resistance genes were detected at a higher frequency in ARB from influent than from effluent, except for sulA and CTX-M, while in general, the abundances of ARGs in activated sludge from two of the three plants were higher in aerobic compartments than in anoxic ones, indicating abundant ARGs exit in the excess sledges and/or in uncultivable bacteria. These findings may be useful for elucidating the effect of WWTP on ARB and ARGs.

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Accession: 057867204

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25950407

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.04.001


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