Nov 10, 2013

Prevalence of antibiotic resistance genes and bacterial community composition in a river influenced by a wastewater treatment plant

PloS One
Elisabet MartiJosé Luis Balcázar

Abstract

Antibiotic resistance represents a global health problem, requiring better understanding of the ecology of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), their selection and their spread in the environment. Antibiotics are constantly released to the environment through wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents. We investigated, therefore, the effect of these discharges on the prevalence of ARGs and bacterial community composition in biofilm and sediment samples of a receiving river. We used culture-independent approaches such as quantitative PCR to determine the prevalence of eleven ARGs and 16S rRNA gene-based pyrosequencing to examine the composition of bacterial communities. Concentration of antibiotics in WWTP influent and effluent were also determined. ARGs such as qnrS, bla TEM, bla CTX-M, bla SHV, erm(B), sul(I), sul(II), tet(O) and tet(W) were detected in all biofilm and sediment samples analyzed. Moreover, we observed a significant increase in the relative abundance of ARGs in biofilm samples collected downstream of the WWTP discharge. We also found significant differences with respect to community structure and composition between upstream and downstream samples. Therefore, our results indicate that WWTP discharges may contrib...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Tetracycline Antibiotics
Microorganism
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Antibiotic Resistance, Microbial
Tetracyclines
V-Sul
beta-Lactams
Fluoroquinolones
Genes
Bacteriocidal Agents

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