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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1982 Feb;43(2):371-7.

Effect of UV light disinfection on antibiotic-resistant coliforms in wastewater effluents.


Total coliforms and total coliforms resistant to streptomycin, tetracycline, or chloramphenicol were isolated from filtered activated sludge effluents before and after UV light irradiation. Although the UV irradiation effectively disinfected the wastewater effluent, the percentage of the total surviving coliform population resistant to tetracycline or chloramphenicol was significantly higher than the percentage of the total coliform population resistant to those antibiotics before UV irradiation. This finding was attributed to the mechanism of R-factor-mediated resistance to tetracycline. No significant difference was noted for the percentage of the surviving total coliform population resistant to streptomycin before or after UV irradiation. Multiple drug resistance patterns of 300 total coliform isolates revealed that 82% were resistant to two or more antibiotics. Furthermore, 46% of these isolates were capable of transferring antibiotic resistance to a sensitive strain of Escherichia coli.

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