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Industrial wastewater treatment plant enriches antibiotic resistance genes and alters the structure of microbial communities

Bengtsson-Palme, Johan; Milaković, Milena; Švecová, Helena; Ganjto, Marin; Jonsson, Viktor; Grabić, Roman; Udiković-Kolić, Nikolina (2019) Industrial wastewater treatment plant enriches antibiotic resistance genes and alters the structure of microbial communities. Water Research, 162 . pp. 437-445. ISSN 0043-1354

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Antibiotic resistance is an emerging global health crisis, driven largely by overuse and misuse of antibiotics. However, there are examples in which the production of these antimicrobial agents has polluted the environment with active antibiotic residues, selecting for antibiotic resistant bacteria and the genes they carry. In this work, we have used shotgun metagenomics to investigate the taxonomic structure and resistance gene composition of sludge communities in a treatment plant in Croatia receiving wastewater from production of the macrolide antibiotic azithromycin. We found that the total abundance of antibiotic resistance genes was three times higher in sludge from the treatment plant receiving wastewater from pharmaceutical production than in municipal sludge from a sewage treatment plant in Zagreb. Surprisingly, macrolide resistance genes did not have higher abundances in the industrial sludge, but genes associated with mobile genetic elements such as integrons had. We conclude that at high concentrations of antibiotics, selection may favor taxonomic shifts towards intrinsically resistant species or strains harboring chromosomal resistance mutations rather than acquisition of mobile resistance determinants. Our results underscore the need for regulatory action also within Europe to avoid release of antibiotics into the environment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Antibiotic resistance ; Community structure ; Macrolides ; Pharmaceutical production ; Wastewater treatment
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Environmental Science
Divisions: Division for Marine and Enviromental Research
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Istraživanje utjecaja otpadnih voda iz farmaceutskih industrija na sastav i profil antibiotičke rezistencije izloženih mikrobnih zajednica u slatkovodnim sedimentima-WINARdr. sc. Nikolina Udiković KolićHRZZ-UIP-2014-09-9350HRZZ
Depositing User: Milena Milaković Obradović
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2019 11:35
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2019.06.073

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