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Occurrence of tetracycline-resistant fecal coliforms and their resistance genes in an urban river impacted by municipal wastewater treatment plant discharges

Occurrence of tetracycline-resistant fecal coliforms and their resistance genes in an urban river impacted by municipal wastewater treatment plant discharges

Journal of Environmental Science and Health. Part A, Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering 50(7): 744-749

Antibiotic resistance of fecal coliforms in an urban river poses great threats to both human health and the environment. To investigate the occurrence and distribution of antibiotic resistant bacteria in an urban river, water samples were collected from the Chanhe River in Xi'an, China. After membrane filtration of water samples, the tetracycline resistance rate of fecal coliforms and their resistance genes were detected by plating and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), respectively. We found that fecal coliforms were generally resistant to tetracycline and saw average resistance rates of 44.7%. The genes tetA and tetB were widely detected, and their positive rate was 60%-100% and 40%-90%, respectively. We found few strains containing tetC, tetK, tetQ and tetX, and we did not identify any strains containing tetG, tetM or tetO. The prevalence of tetA and tetB over other genes indicated that the main mechanism for resistance to tetracycline is by changes to the efflux pump. Our analysis of the types and proportion of tetracycline resistance genes in the Chanhe River at locations upstream and downstream of the urban center suggests that the increased number of tetracycline-resistant fecal coliforms and spatial variation of tetracycline resistance genes diversity were related to municipal wastewater treatment plant discharge.

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Accession: 058448985

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PMID: 25901852

DOI: 10.1080/10934529.2015.1011995

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