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Open AccessArticle

Triclosan Alters Microbial Communities in Freshwater Microcosms

1
Department of Biology, Reem-Kayden Center for Science and Computation, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504, USA
2
Bard Center for the Study of Land, Air, and Water, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504, USA
3
Environmental and Urban Studies Program, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504, USA
4
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY 12545, USA
5
European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall TR10 9FE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Water 2019, 11(5), 961; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050961
Received: 10 February 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 8 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
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Abstract

The effect of triclosan on microbial communities that are found in soil and sediments is well documented. However, little is known regarding the possible effects of triclosan on microbial communities that are present in the column of freshwater streams as the antimicrobial is released from sediments or from water sewage outflow. We show that a concentration of triclosan as low as 1 ng/L decreases richness and evenness in freshwater microbial communities growing in the water column while using controlled experimental microcosms. Crucially, the decrease in evenness that was observed in the microbial communities was due to the selection of bacteria commonly associated with human activity, such as Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, and Rhodobacter, as opposed to an increase in Cyanobacteria, as previously suggested. Finally, our results demonstrate that higher concentrations of triclosan comparable to heavily polluted environments can also impact the overall phylogenetic structure and community composition of microbial communities. Understanding the impact of triclosan on these microbial populations is crucial from a public health perspective as human populations are more often exposed to microbial communities that are present in the water column via recreative use. View Full-Text
Keywords: triclosan; antimicrobial resistance; pollution; 16S rRNA sequencing; microbiomes; watershed triclosan; antimicrobial resistance; pollution; 16S rRNA sequencing; microbiomes; watershed
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Clarke, A.; Azulai, D.; Dueker, M.E.; Vos, M.; Perron, G.G. Triclosan Alters Microbial Communities in Freshwater Microcosms. Water 2019, 11, 961.

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