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Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 4587–4596 | Cite as

Antibiotic-resistant genes and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the effluent of urban residential areas, hospitals, and a municipal wastewater treatment plant system

  • Jianan Li
  • Weixiao Cheng
  • Like Xu
  • P. J. Strong
  • Hong ChenEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

In this study, we determined the abundance of 8 antibiotics (3 tetracyclines, 4 sulfonamides, and 1 trimethoprim), 12 antibiotic-resistant genes (10 tet, 2 sul), 4 antibiotic-resistant bacteria (tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and combined resistance), and class 1 integron integrase gene (intI1) in the effluent of residential areas, hospitals, and municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) systems. The concentrations of total/individual targets (antibiotics, genes, and bacteria) varied remarkably among different samples, but the hospital samples generally had a lower abundance than the residential area samples. The WWTP demonstrated removal efficiencies of 50.8 % tetracyclines, 66.8 % sulfonamides, 0.5 logs to 2.5 logs tet genes, and less than 1 log of sul and intI1 genes, as well as 0.5 log to 1 log removal for target bacteria. Except for the total tetracycline concentration and the proportion of tetracycline-resistant bacteria (R 2 = 0.330, P < 0.05), there was no significant correlation between antibiotics and the corresponding resistant bacteria (P > 0.05). In contrast, various relationships were identified between antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes (P < 0.05). Tet (A) and tet (B) displayed noticeable relationships with both tetracycline and combined antibiotic-resistant bacteria (P < 0.01).

Keywords

Antibiotic resistance genes Antibiotic-resistant bacteria Wastewater treatment plant Residential areas Hospitals 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful to the managers of hospitals/residential areas and wastewater treatment plant for providing the samples and information required for this study. Support from the Natural Science Foundation of China (21277117 and 21210008) is gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

11356_2014_3665_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.7 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 1,753 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianan Li
    • 1
  • Weixiao Cheng
    • 1
  • Like Xu
    • 1
  • P. J. Strong
    • 2
  • Hong Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, College of Environmental and Resource SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Centre for Solid Waste Bioprocessing, School of Civil Engineering and School of Chemical EngineeringThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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