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Prof. Dr. Thomas Schwartz

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Response of biofilm bacterial communities to antibiotic pollutants in a Mediterranean river

Response of biofilm bacterial communities to antibiotic pollutants in a Mediterranean river
chair:

Proia, L. / Lupini, G. / Osorio, V. / Pérez, S. / Barceló, D. / Schwartz, T. / Amalfitano, S. / Fazi, S. / Romaní, A. / Sabater, S. (2013)

place:

Chemosphere 92 (2013), 9, 1126-1135

Date: 2013

Proia, L. / Lupini, G. / Osorio, V. / Pérez, S. / Barceló, D. / Schwartz, T. / Amalfitano, S. / Fazi, S. / Romaní, A. / Sabater, S. (2013): „Response of biofilm bacterial communities to antibiotic pollutants in a Mediterranean river“. In: Chemosphere 92 (2013), 9, 1126-1135

Abstract

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Antibiotics are emerging contaminants, which wing to their bioactivity, may lead to short-term and long-term alterations of natural microbial communities in aquatic environment. We investigated the effects of antibiotics on biofilm bacterial communities in the Llobregat River (Northeast Spain). Three sampling sites were selected: two less polluted sites and one hotspot. River water was collected from each site and used both as inoculum and medium for growing biofilms in independent mesocosms. After 25 d of biofilm colonization, we exposed the colonized biofilms to river waters from the downstream sites (progressively contaminated by antibiotics).

A control from each site was maintained where the growing biofilm was always exposed to water from the same site. The bacterial community composition, bacterial live/dead ratio and extracellular enzyme activities of the biofilms were measured before and 9 d after exposing the biofilms to increasing contaminated waters. Sixteen antibiotic compounds were detected in the water from the three sampling sites.

At each site, the antibiotics present in the highest concentrations were sulfonamides, followed by quinolones and macrolides. Bacterial communities of biofilms grown with the three river waters differed markedly in their structure, but less so in terms of functional descriptors. After switching the medium water to increasing pollution, biofilms exhibited increased levels of actinobacteria (HGC), a trend that was associated to the higher antibiotic concentrations in the water.

These biofilms also showed increased bacterial mortality, and decreased extracellular leucine-aminopeptidase and alkaline phosphatase. There was a significant correlation between antibiotic concentrations and biofilm responses. Our results indicate that the continuous entrance of antibiotics in running waters cause significant structural and functional changes in microbial attached communities.