Quantitative and qualitative changes in antibiotic resistance genes after passing through treatment processes in municipal wastewater treatment plants

Jangwoo Lee, Jong Hun Jeon, Jingyeong Shin, Hyun Min Jang, Sungpyo Kim, Myoung Seok Song, Kimyoung Mo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, quantitative and qualitative changes in antibiotics resistance genes (ARGs) were investigated in two municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) treating pretreated livestock or industrial wastewater as well as municipal sewage. Total eight ARGs (tetX, tetM, tetA, sul1, sul2, ermB, qnrD, and bla TEM ) were quantified, and their relative abundance was assessed by ARGs copies/16S rRNA gene copies. The fate of ARGs was observed to be different between two WWTPs: sul, qnrD, and bla TEM were proliferated during the treatment processes only in the WWTP1 which received pretreated livestock wastewater. Furthermore, dynamic shifts in patterns of ARGs occurrence were observed during biological, secondary sedimentation and coagulation processes. During biological treatment in both WWTPs, relative abundance of tet and ermB changed: tet increased significantly by 211.6–357.6%, while ermB decreased by 70.4–92.0%. Little variation was observed in sul, qnrD and bla TEM . Subsequently, the relative abundance of tet decreased during the secondary sedimentation and coagulation in both WWTPs: tet decreased by 56.0–86.3% during sedimentation and by 48.2–75.7% during coagulation, respectively. During the final treatment, different responses of antibiotic resistance bacteria (ARB) and ARGs to ultraviolet (UV) disinfection were found: removal efficiencies of ARB were observed in the range of 34–75%, while obvious reduction in ARGs was not observed at the UV dose of 27 mJ/cm 2 . Although ARGs underwent various treatment processes, considerable levels of ARGs remained at discharge amounting to 4.2 × 10 18 copies/day from WWTP1 and 5.4 × 10 16 copies/day from WWTP2, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)906-914
Number of pages9
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume605-606
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017 Dec 15

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance gene (ARG)
  • Biological process
  • Physiochemical process
  • Ultraviolet disinfection
  • Wastewater treatment plant

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