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Environ Int. 2018 Jun;115:312-324. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2018.03.044. Epub 2018 Apr 5.

Antibiotic resistance in wastewater treatment plants: Tackling the black box.

Author information

1
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina - Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Arquiteto Lobão Vital, 172, 4200-374 Porto, Portugal. Electronic address: cmanaia@porto.ucp.pt.
2
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina - Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Arquiteto Lobão Vital, 172, 4200-374 Porto, Portugal.
3
Department of Agroecology and Plant Health, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel; Institute of Soil, Water, and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, Rishon Lezion, Israel.
4
University of Technology Vienna, Institute for Water Quality and Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13/226, A-1040 Vienna, Austria; AGES - Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, Spargelfeldstraße 191, A-1220 Vienna, Austria.
5
Laboratory of Separation and Reaction Engineering - Laboratory of Catalysis and Materials (LSRE-LCM), Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal; Adventech-Advanced Environmental Technologies, Centro Empresarial e Tecnológico, Rua de Fundões 151, 3700-121 São João da Madeira, Portugal.
6
Department of Environmental Chemistry, IDAEA-CSIC, c/Jordi Girona, 18-26, E-08034 Barcelona, Spain.
7
NIREAS-International Water Research Center and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus.
8
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, SP24a, 84084 Fisciano, SA, Italy.
9
Institute for Hydrobiology, Technische Universität Dresden, 01217 Dresden, Germany.
10
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, CBQF - Centro de Biotecnologia e Química Fina - Laboratório Associado, Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Rua Arquiteto Lobão Vital, 172, 4200-374 Porto, Portugal; LEPABE, Laboratório de Engenharia de Processos, Ambiente, Biotecnologia e Energia, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal. Electronic address: ivmoreira@porto.ucp.pt.
11
LEPABE, Laboratório de Engenharia de Processos, Ambiente, Biotecnologia e Energia, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal. Electronic address: opnunes@fe.up.pt.

Abstract

Wastewater is among the most important reservoirs of antibiotic resistance in urban environments. The abundance of carbon sources and other nutrients, a variety of possible electron acceptors such as oxygen or nitrate, the presence of particles onto which bacteria can adsorb, or a fairly stable pH and temperature are examples of conditions favouring the remarkable diversity of microorganisms in this peculiar habitat. The wastewater microbiome brings together bacteria of environmental, human and animal origins, many harbouring antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Although numerous factors contribute, mostly in a complex interplay, for shaping this microbiome, the effect of specific potential selective pressures such as antimicrobial residues or metals, is supposedly determinant to dictate the fate of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and ARGs during wastewater treatment. This paper aims to enrich the discussion on the ecology of ARB&ARGs in urban wastewater treatment plants (UWTPs), intending to serve as a guide for wastewater engineers or other professionals, who may be interested in studying or optimizing the wastewater treatment for the removal of ARB&ARGs. Fitting this aim, the paper overviews and discusses: i) aspects of the complexity of the wastewater system and/or treatment that may affect the fate of ARB&ARGs; ii) methods that can be used to explore the resistome, meaning the whole ARB&ARGs, in wastewater habitats; and iii) some frequently asked questions for which are proposed addressing modes. The paper aims at contributing to explore how ARB&ARGs behave in UWTPs having in mind that each plant is a unique system that will probably need a specific procedure to maximize ARB&ARGs removal.

KEYWORDS:

Antibiotic resistance monitoring; SWOT analysis; Wastewater treatment optimization

PMID:
29626693
DOI:
10.1016/j.envint.2018.03.044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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