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Open AccessArticle

Inactivation Effect of Antibiotic-Resistant Gene Using Chlorine Disinfection

Department of Health Science, Kitasato University, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Sagamihara-Minami, Kanagawa 252-0373, Japan
Environmental Systems Course, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Miyazaki, 1-1 Gakuen Kibanadai-Nishi, Miyazaki 889-2192, Japan
Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Oita College, 1666 Maki, Oita 870-0152, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2017, 9(7), 547;
Received: 19 June 2017 / Revised: 14 July 2017 / Accepted: 17 July 2017 / Published: 21 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Disinfection of Wastewater)
PDF [525 KB, uploaded 21 July 2017]


The aim of this study was to elucidate the inactivation effects on the antibiotic-resistance gene (vanA) of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) using chlorination, a disinfection method widely used in various water treatment facilities. Suspensions of VRE were prepared by adding VRE to phosphate-buffered saline, or the sterilized secondary effluent of a wastewater treatment plant. The inactivation experiments were carried out at several chlorine concentrations and stirring time. Enterococci concentration and presence of vanA were determined. The enterococci concentration decreased as chlorine concentrations and stirring times increased, with more than 7.0 log reduction occurring under the following conditions: 40 min stirring at 0.5 mg Cl2/L, 20 min stirring at 1.0 mg Cl2/L, and 3 min stirring at 3.0 mg Cl2/L. In the inactivation experiment using VRE suspended in secondary effluent, the culturable enterococci required much higher chlorine concentration and longer treatment time for complete disinfection than the cases of suspension of VRE. However, vanA was detected in all chlorinated suspensions of VRE, even in samples where no enterococcal colonies were present on the medium agar plate. The chlorine disinfection was not able to destroy antibiotic-resistance genes, though it can inactivate and decrease bacterial counts of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (ARB). Therefore, it was suggested that remaining ARB and/or antibiotic-resistance gene in inactivated bacterial cells after chlorine disinfection tank could be discharged into water environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: chlorine disinfection; antibiotic-resistant bacteria; vancomycin-resistant enterococci; resistance gene; vanA; secondary effluent; PCR chlorine disinfection; antibiotic-resistant bacteria; vancomycin-resistant enterococci; resistance gene; vanA; secondary effluent; PCR

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Furukawa, T.; Jikumaru, A.; Ueno, T.; Sei, K. Inactivation Effect of Antibiotic-Resistant Gene Using Chlorine Disinfection. Water 2017, 9, 547.

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