Pharmaceutical wastewaters are recognized as reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB), and also as hotspots for their horizontal gene transfer (HGT) using mobile genetic elements. Our study employed the use of PCR analysis of metagenomic DNA samples obtained from four pharmaceutical wastewaters using known primers to study the prevalence of thirty-six ARGs and four MGEs active against the commonly used antibiotics in Nigeria. The ARGs most frequently detected from the metagenomic DNA samples in each of the antibiotic classes under study include tetracycline [tet
(G)], aminoglycoside [aad
A and str
B], chloramphenicol [cat
A1], sulphonamides [sul
I and sul
II], and β-lactams and penicillins [blaOXA
]. The ARGs showed a 100% prevalence in their various environmental sources. The pharmaceutical facility PFIV showed the highest concentration of ARGs in this study. The highest concentration for MGEs was shown by pharmaceutical facility PFIII, positive for intl
2, and IFS genes. This study highlights the wide distribution of ARGs to the antibiotics tested in the wastewater, making pharmaceutical wastewater reservoirs of ARGs which could potentially be transferred from commensal microorganisms to human pathogens.
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