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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Impact of Vegetative Treatment Systems on Multiple Measures of Antibiotic Resistance in Agricultural Wastewater

1
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Agroecosystem Management Research Unit, 251 Filley Hall, UNL East Campus Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
2
Rice Research and Extension Center, University of Arkansas, Stuttgart, AR 72160, USA
3
Previously Biological Systems Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1295; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071295
Received: 25 April 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 17 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiological Evaluation of Wastewater Treatment)
Wastewater is an important vector of antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes (ARB/G). While there is broad agreement that ARB/G from agricultural (ag) wastewaters can be transported through the environment and may contribute to untreatable infectious disease in humans and animals, there remain large knowledge gaps surrounding applied details on the types and amounts of ARB/G associated with different agricultural wastewater treatment options and different ag production systems. This study evaluates a vegetative treatment system (VTS) built to treat the wastewater from a beef cattle feedlot. Samples were collected for three years, and plated on multiple media types to enumerate tetracycline and cefotaxime-resistant bacteria. Enterobacteriaceae isolates (n = 822) were characterized for carriage of tetracycline resistance genes, and E. coli isolates (n = 673) were phenotyped to determine multi-drug resistance (MDR) profiles. Tetracycline resistance in feedlot runoff wastewater was 2-to-3 orders of magnitude higher compared to rainfall runoff from the VTS fields, indicating efficacy of the VTA for reducing ARB over time following wastewater application. Clear differences in MDR profiles were observed based on the specific media on which a sample was plated. This result highlights the importance of method, especially in the context of isolate-based surveillance and monitoring of ARB in agricultural wastewaters. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibiotic resistance; agriculture; wastewater; manure; cattle; antibiotic resistant bacteria; antibiotic resistance gene; tetracycline resistance gene; environment; vegetative treatment system antibiotic resistance; agriculture; wastewater; manure; cattle; antibiotic resistant bacteria; antibiotic resistance gene; tetracycline resistance gene; environment; vegetative treatment system
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MDPI and ACS Style

Durso, L.M.; Miller, D.N.; Henry, C.G. Impact of Vegetative Treatment Systems on Multiple Measures of Antibiotic Resistance in Agricultural Wastewater. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1295.

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