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 JWARP  Vol.11 No.8 , August 2019
The Role of Wastewater Treatment Plants in the Environmental Dissemination of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (ARB) and Resistance Genes (ARG)
Abstract: This study was conducted to evaluate the influence of wastewater treatment processes on the prevalence of antibiotic resistance fecal coliform (FC) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) of FC. In addition, the occurrence of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) in surface waters receiving wastewater was evaluated. Greater resistance against penicillin (P), colisitin (CT) and ampicillin (AMP) were observed for FC isolated from effluent disinfected by chlorine (71%), than that disinfected by UV (45%). The greatest resistance against six antibiotics was recorded for FC isolates from effluent disinfected by chlorine. The prevalence of tetB and blaSHV was lowest in isolates from chlorine-disinfected effluents. The occurrence of ARG blaSHV was highest in FC isolated from effluent disinfected by UV. A significant correlation was recorded between FC levels in surface waters and the level of bacterial resistance to ampicillin (P < 0.05) and to chloramphenicol (P < 0.05). AmpC and blaPSE1 were more prevalent than blaSHV in effluents and in surface waters. TetA and tetC were highly prevalent in surface water compared to tetB. The results of the study demonstrate the widespread prevalence of ARB and ARG in wastewater and receiving water bodies. The result indicates that the source of ARB and ARG in surface waters originate from wastewater. Released ARB and ARG may serve as the source of ARG to pathogenic bacteria in surface waters. Disinfection processes may influence the selection of antibiotic resistant patterns of bacteria.
Cite this paper: Nasser, A. , Fawaqa, H. and Nitzan, Y. (2019) The Role of Wastewater Treatment Plants in the Environmental Dissemination of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (ARB) and Resistance Genes (ARG). Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 11, 981-994. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2019.118058.
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