Institute of Functional Interfaces

Reduction of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria During Conventional and Advanced Wastewater Treatment, and the Disseminated Loads Released to the Environment

  • chair:

    Jäger, T. / Hembach, N. / Elpers, C. / Wieland, A. / Alexander, J. / Hiller, C. / Krauter, G. / Schwartz, T. (2018)

  • place:

    Front. Microbiol., 30 October 2018, 9, doi:org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.02599

  • Date: Oktober 2018


The occurrence of new chemical and microbiological contaminants in the aquatic environment has become an issue of increasing environmental concern. Thus, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) play an important part in the distribution of so-called new emerging pathogens and antibiotic resistances. Therefore, the daily loads released by the WWTP were calculated including a model system for the distribution of these loads within the receiving water body. UV-, as well as ozone-treatment in separate or in combination for wastewater treatment were under investigation aiming at the reduction of these loads. Here, the impact of these treatments on the DNA integrity via antibody staining and PCR efficiencies experiments were included. All three facultative pathogenic bacteria [enterococci (23S rRNA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ecfX), and Escherichia coli (yccT)] and seven clinically relevant antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) (mecA (methicillin resistance gene), ctx-M32 (β- lactame resistance gene), ermB (erythromycine resistance gene), blaTEM (β- lactame resistance gene), sul1 (sulfonamide resistance gene), vanA (vancomycin resistance gene), and intI1 (Integrase1 gene) associated with mobile genetic elements were detected in wastewaters. Different reduction efficiencies were analyzed during advanced wastewater treatments. ARGs were still found to be present in the effluents under the parameters of 1.0 g ozone per g dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and 400 J/m2, like ctx-M32, ermB, blaTEM, sul1, and intI1. Especially UV radiation induced thymidine dimerization which was analyzed via antibody mediated detection in the metagenome of the natural wastewater population. These specific DNA alterations were not observed during ozone treatment and combinations of UV/ozone treatment. The dimerization or potential other DNA alterations during UV treatment might be responsible for a decreased PCR efficiency of the 16S rRNA amplicons (176, 490, and 880 bp fragments) from natural metagenomes compared to the untreated sample. This impact on PCR efficiencies was also observed for the combination of ozone and UV treatment.