Next Article in Journal
Assessment of Shallow Groundwater Contamination Resulting from a Municipal Solid Waste Landfill—A Case Study in Lianyungang, China
Previous Article in Journal
Method for Identifying and Estimating Karst Groundwater Runoff Components Based on the Frequency Distributions of Conductivity and Discharge
Open AccessArticle

Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance Genes and their Association with Antibiotics in a Wastewater Treatment Plant: Process Distribution and Analysis

1
School of Civil Engineering, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou Higher Education Mega Centre, Guangzhou 510006, China
2
Shenzhen Municipal Wastewater Treatment and Recycling Engineering Laboratory, Shenzhen Water (Group) Co. Ltd., Shenzhen 518000, China
3
School of Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2495; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122495
Received: 23 October 2019 / Revised: 18 November 2019 / Accepted: 21 November 2019 / Published: 26 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water and Wastewater Treatment)
Effluents from wastewater treatment plants has been identified as a main point-source of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes in natural water environments. In this study, a typical municipal sewage treatment system in south China was taken as the research object to investigate the effects of each treatment unit on eight target antibiotics (sulfamethoxazole, sulfamethazine, tetracycline hydrochloride, oxytetracycline dihydrate, norfloxacin, ofloxacin, clarithromycin, roxithromycin), 17 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and class 1 integron genes in the system using Accelerated Solvent Extraction-Solid phase extraction-Ultra high Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem mass spectrometry (ASE-SPE-UPLC-MS/MS) and real-time fluorescent quantitative PCR (qPCR) and the correlation between them. Seven antibiotics (mainly sulfonamides and tetracyclines, 4.19–141.97 ng·L−1) were detected in the influent, while only sulfamethoxazole, sulfamethazine, ofloxacin, and clarithromycin were detected in the effluent (3.11–16.61 ng·L−1). The tetracycline antibiotics in the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) were transferred to the sludge phase by adsorption, in which tetracycline hydrochloride and oxytetracycline dihydrate were mostly removed in the aerobic and anaerobic stages, while sulfamethoxazole was mainly removed through biological transformation. Sul I was the most abundant resistance gene, but the WWTP had no obvious effect on its removal. Anaerobic treatment was found to play an important role in tetA, tetQ, and tetX removal. Moreover, correlation analysis revealed that the relative abundance of tetX was significantly correlated with clarithromycin (p = 0.039) and ofloxacin (p = 0.028), while that of tetQ was significantly correlated with sulfamethazine (p = 0.007) and sulfamethoxazole (p = 0.001), and that of tetC was significantly correlated with the class 1 integron gene (p = 0.014). Overall, the results presented herein provide a reference for improving the antibiotics and ARGs removal efficiency of WWTPs in south China.
Keywords: antibiotics; antibiotic resistance genes; prevalence; wastewater treatment plants; correlation antibiotics; antibiotic resistance genes; prevalence; wastewater treatment plants; correlation
MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, H.; Zhou, X.; Huang, H.; Zhang, J. Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance Genes and their Association with Antibiotics in a Wastewater Treatment Plant: Process Distribution and Analysis. Water 2019, 11, 2495.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop