Influence of reclaimed water discharge on the dissemination and relationships of sulfonamide, sulfonamide resistance genes along the Chaobai River, Beijing
Reclaimed water represents an important source of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes, threatening the ecological safety of receiving environments, while alleviating water resource shortages. This study investigated the dissemination of sulfonamide (SAs), sulfonamide resistance genes (SRGs), and class one integrons (intI1) in the surface water of the recharging area of the Chaobai River. The three antibiotics sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, and sulfadiazine had the highest abundance. The highest absolute abundances were 2.91×106, 6.94×106, and 2.18×104 copies/mL for sul1, sul2, and intI1 at the recharge point, respectively. SRGs and intI1 were widespread and had high abundance not only at the recharging point, but also in remote areas up to 8 km away. Seasonal variations of SRGs abundance followed the order of summer>autumn>spring>winter. Significant correlations were found between SRGs and intI1 (R2 = 0.887 and 0.786, p<0.01), indicating the potential risk of SRGs dissemination. Strong correlations between the abundance of SRGs and environmental factors were also found, suggesting that appropriate environmental conditions favor the spread of SRGs. The obtained results indicate that recharging with reclaimed water causes dissemination and enrichment of SAs and SRGs in the receiving river. Further research is required for the risk assessment and scientific management of reclaimed water.
KeywordsSulfonamide residues Sulfonamide resistance genes Reclaimed water recharge Surface water Class one integrons
The authors would like to thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51378287) for the financial support of this work.
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