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Open AccessArticle

Constructed Wetland Revealed Efficient Sulfamethoxazole Removal but Enhanced the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance Genes

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Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control (AEMPC), Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology (CIC-AEET), Nanjing University of Information Science &Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
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School of Environment, Nanjing Normal University, Jiangsu Engineering Lab of Water and Soil Eco-remediation, Wenyuan Road 1, Nanjing 210023, China
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School of Civil Engineering and Architecture, East China Jiaotong University, Nanchang 330013, China
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College of Environment and Safety Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266042, China
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School of Civil Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Molecules 2020, 25(4), 834; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25040834 (registering DOI)
Received: 6 January 2020 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 11 February 2020 / Published: 14 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment)
Constructed wetlands (CWs) could achieve high removal efficiency of antibiotics, but probably stimulate the spread of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). In this study, four CWs were established to treat synthetic wastewater containing sulfamethoxazole (SMX). SMX elimination efficiencies, SMX degradation mechanisms, dynamic fates of ARGs, and bacterial communities were evaluated during the treatment period (360 day). Throughout the whole study, the concentration of SMX in the effluent gradually increased (p < 0.05), but in general, the removal efficiency of SMX remained at a very high level (>98%). In addition, the concentration of SMX in the bottom layer was higher compared with that in the surface layer. The main byproducts of SMX degradation were found to be 4-amino benzene sulfinic acid, 3-amino-5-methylisoxazole, benzenethiol, and 3-hydroxybutan-1-aminium. Temporally speaking, an obvious increase of sul genes was observed, along with the increase of SMX concentration in the bottom and middle layers of CWs. Spatially speaking, the concentration of sul genes increased from the surface layer to the bottom layer. View Full-Text
Keywords: sulfamethoxazole; antibiotic resistance genes; sul genes; bacterial community; constructed wetlands sulfamethoxazole; antibiotic resistance genes; sul genes; bacterial community; constructed wetlands
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Zhang, S.; Lu, Y.-X.; Zhang, J.-J.; Liu, S.; Song, H.-L.; Yang, X.-L. Constructed Wetland Revealed Efficient Sulfamethoxazole Removal but Enhanced the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance Genes. Molecules 2020, 25, 834.

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