Advertisement

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 6826–6835 | Cite as

Occurrence and removal of antibiotics and the corresponding resistance genes in wastewater treatment plants: effluents’ influence to downstream water environment

  • Jianan Li
  • Weixiao Cheng
  • Like Xu
  • Yanan Jiao
  • Shams Ali Baig
  • Hong ChenEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

In this study, the occurrence of 8 antibiotics [3 tetracyclines (TCs), 4 sulfonamides, and 1 trimethoprim (TMP)], 12 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) (10 tet, 2 sul), 4 types of bacteria [no antibiotics, anti-TC, anti-sulfamethoxazole (SMX), and anti-double], and intI1 in two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were assessed and their influences in downstream lake were investigated. Both WWTPs’ effluent demonstrated some similarities, but the abundance and removal rate varied significantly. Results revealed that biological treatment mainly removed antibiotics and ARGs, whereas physical techniques were found to eliminate antibiotic resistance bacteria (ARBs) abundance (about 1 log for each one). UV disinfection did not significantly enhance the removal efficiency, and the release of the abundantly available target contaminants from the excess sludge may pose threats to human and the environment. Different antibiotics showed diverse influences on the downstream lake, and the concentrations of sulfamethazine (SM2) and SMX were observed to increase enormously. The total ARG abundance ascended about 0.1 log and some ARGs (e.g., tetC, intI1, tetA) increased due to the high input of the effluent. In addition, the abundance of ARB variation in the lake also changed, but the abundance of four types of bacteria remained stable in the downstream sampling sites.

Keywords

Antibiotics Antibiotic resistance Occurrence Wastewater treatment plant Removal 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would to extends their sincerely thanks to the managers of wastewater treatment plants for providing the water samples and related information. This work was supported by the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment (2014ZX07101-012) and Natural Science Foundation of China (21277117).

Supplementary material

11356_2015_5916_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.3 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 1335 kb)

References

  1. Akinbowale OL, Peng H, Barton MD (2007) Diversity of tetracycline resistance genes in bacteria from aquaculture sources in Australia. J Appl Microbiol 103(5):2016–2025CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen HK, Donato J, Wang HH, Cloud-Hansen KA, Davies J, Handelsman J (2010) Call of the wild: antibiotic resistance genes in natural environments. Nat Rev Microbiol 8:251–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Auerbach EA, Seyfried EE, McMahon KD (2007) Tetracycline resistance genes in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants. Water Res 41(5):1143–1151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baquero F, Martínez J, Cantón R (2008) Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in water environments. Curr Opin Biotechnol 19:260–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Batt AL, Bruce IB, Aga DS (2006) Evaluating the vulnerability of surface waters to antibiotic contamination from varying wastewater treatment plant discharges. Environ Pollut 142:295–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Batt AL, Kim S, Aga DS (2007) Comparison of the occurrence of antibiotics in four full-scale wastewater treatment plants with varying designs and operations. Chemosphere 68:428–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brooks JP, Maxwell SL, Rensing C, Gerba CP, Pepper IL (2007) Occurrence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and endo toxin associated with the land application of biosolids. Can J Microbiol 53:616–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen H, Zhang MM (2013a) Effects of advanced treatment systems on the removal of antibiotic resistance genes in wastewater treatment plants from Hangzhou, China. Environ Sci Technol 47(15):8157–8163Google Scholar
  9. Chen H, Zhang MM (2013b) Occurrence and removal of antibiotic resistance genes in municipal wastewater and rural domestic sewage treatment systems in eastern China. Environ Int 55:9–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Czekalski N, Berthold T, Caucci S, Egli A, Bürgmann H (2012) Increased levels of multiresistant bacteria and resistance genes after wastewater treatment and their dissemination into Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Front Microbiol 3:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dai S, Reiji K, Toshinari S, Michihiro A, Tetsuji N, Shoichi K (2015) Occurrence of selected pharmaceuticals at drinking water purification plants in Japan and implications for human health. Water Res 76:187–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gao P, Munir M, Xagoraraki I (2012) Correlation of tetracycline and sulfonamide antibiotics with corresponding resistance genes and resistant bacteria in a conventional municipal wastewater treatment plant. Sci Total Environ 421–422:173–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Golet E, Alder AC, Giger W (2002) Environmental exposure and risk assessment of fluoroquinolone antibacterial agents in wastewater and river water of the Glatt Valley watershed, Switzerland. Environ Sci Technol 36(17):3645–3651CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hirsch R, Ternes T, Haberer K, Kratz KL (1999) Occurrence of antibiotics in the aquatic environment. Sci Total Environ 225:109–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Huang JJ, Hu HY, Lu SQ, Li Y, Tang F, Lu Y, Wei B (2012) Monitoring and evaluation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria at a municipal wastewater treatment plant in China. Environ Int 42:31–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kim I, Tanaka H (2009) Photodegradation characteristics of PPCPs in water with UV treatment. Environ Int 35:793–802CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kim SR, Nonaka L, Suzuki S (2004) Occurrence of tetracycline resistance genes tet(M) and tet(S) in bacteria from marine aquaculture sites. FEMS Microbiol Lett 237(1):147–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kim S, Eichhorn P, Jensen JN, Weber AS, Aga DS (2005) Removal of antibiotics in wastewater: effect of hydraulic and solid retention times on the fate of tetracycline in the activated sludge process. Environ Sci Technol 39:5816–5823CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kolpin DW, Furlong ET, Meyer MT, Thurman EM, Zaugg SD, Barber LB, Buxton H (2002) Pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater contaminants in U.S. streams, 1999−2000: a national reconnaissance. Environ Sci Technol 36(6):1202–1211Google Scholar
  20. Li D, Yang M, Hu JY, Zhang J, Liu RY, Gu X (2009) Antibiotic-resistance profile in environmental bacteria isolated from penicillin production wastewater treatment plant and the receiving water. Environ Microbiol 11(6):1506–1517CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Livermore D (2004) Can better prescribing turn the tide of resistance? Nat Rev Microbiol 2:73–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Luo Y, Mao D, Rysz M, Zhou Q, Zhang H, Xu L et al (2010) Trends in antibiotic resistance genes occurrence in the Haihe River, China. Environ Sci Technol 44:7220–7225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McKinney CW, Pruden A (2012) Ultraviolet disinfection of antibiotic resistant bacteria and their antibiotic resistance genes in water and wastewater. Environ Sci Technol 46(24):13393–13400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Moura A, Pereira C, Henriques I, Correia A (2012) Novel gene cassettes and integrons in antibiotic resistant bacteria isolated from urban wastewaters. Res Microbiol 163(2):92–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Munir M, Wong K, Xagoraraki I (2011) Release of antibiotic resistant bacteria and genes in the effluent and biosolids of five wastewater utilities in Michigan. Water Res 45(2):681–693CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pailler JY, Krein A, Pfister L, Hoffmann L, Guignard C (2009) Solid phase extraction coupled to liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of sulfonamides, tetracyclines, analgesics and hormones in surface water and wastewater in Luxembourg. Sci Total Environ 407(16):4736–4743CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Pei R, Kim SC, Carlson KH, Pruden A (2006) Effect of river landscape on the sediment concentrations of antibiotics and corresponding antibiotic resistance genes (ARG). Water Res 40:2427–2435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pescod MB (1992) Wastewater treatment and use in agriculture. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  29. Pruden A, Pei R, Storteboom H, Carlson KH (2006) Antibiotic resistance genes as emerging contaminants: studies in Northern Colorado. Environ Sci Technol 40(23):7445–7450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ratola N, Cincinelli A, Alves A, Katsoyannis A (2012) Occurrence of organic microcontaminants in the wastewater treatment process. A mini review. J Hazard Mater 239:1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Repice C, Grande MD, Maggi R, Pedrazzani R (2013) Licit and illicit drugs in a wastewater treatment plant in Verona, Italy. Sci Total Environ 463–464:27–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Roberts MC (2005) Update on acquired tetracycline resistance genes. FEMS Microbiol Lett 245(2):195–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Servais P, Passerat J (2009) Antimicrobial resistance of fecal bacteria in waters of the Seineriver watershed (France). Sci Total Environ 408:365–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sköld O (2000) Sulfonamide resistance: mechanisms and trends. Drug Resist Updat 3(3):155–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Stokes HW, Gillings MR (2011) Gene flow, mobile genetic elements and the recruitment of antibiotic resistance genes into Gram-negative pathogens. FEMS Microbiol Rev 35:790–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sui Q, Huang J, Deng S, Yu G, Fan Q (2010) Occurrence and removal of pharmaceuticals, caffeine and DEET in wastewater treatment plants of Beijing, China. Water Res 44:417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Szczepanowski R, Krahn I, Linke B, Goesmann A, Pühler A, Schlüter A (2004) Antibiotic multiresistance plasmid pRSB101 isolated from a wastewater treatment plant is related to plasmids residing in phytopathogenic bacteria and carries eight different resistance determinants including a multidrug transport system. Microbiology 150:3613–3630CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thomas CM, Nielsen KM (2005) Mechanisms of, and barriers to, horizontal gene transfer between bacteria. Nat Rev Microbiol 3:711–721CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Verlicchi P, Al Aukidy M, Zambello E (2012) Occurrence of pharmaceutical compounds in urban wastewater: removal, mass load and environmental risk after a secondary treatment—a review. Sci Total Environ 429:123–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wright MS, Baker-Austin C, Lindell AH, Stepanauskas R, Stokes HW, McArthur JV (2008) Influence of industrial contamination on mobile genetic elements: class 1 integron abundance and gene cassette structure inaquatic bacterial communities. ISME J 2:417–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yang S, Carlson K (2003) Evolution of antibiotic occurrence in a river through pristine, urban and agricultural landscapes. Water Res 37(19):4645–4656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ye ZQ, Weinberg HS, Meyer MT (2007) Trace analysis of trimethoprim and sulfonamide, macrolide, quinolone, and tetracycline antibiotics in chlorinated drinking water using liquid chromatography electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. Analyt Chem 79(3):1135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhang XX, Zhang T (2011) Occurrence, Abundance, and Diversity of Tetracycline Resistance Genes in 15 Sewage Treatment Plants across China and Other Global Locations. Environ Sci Technol 45:2598–2604CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zhang RJ, Zhang G, Zheng Q, Tang JH, Chen YJ, Xu WH, Zou YD, Chen XX (2012) Occurrence and risks of antibiotics in the Laizhou Bay, China: impacts of river discharge. Ecotox Environ Safe 80:208–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Zhu S, Chen H, Li J (2013) Sources, distribution and potential risks of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in Qingshan Lake basin, Eastern China. Ecotox Environ Safe 6:154–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianan Li
    • 1
  • Weixiao Cheng
    • 1
  • Like Xu
    • 1
  • Yanan Jiao
    • 1
  • Shams Ali Baig
    • 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.Department of Environmental SciencesCOMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT)AbbottabadPakistan

Personalised recommendations