Occurrence and fate of antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance determinants and potential human pathogens in a wastewater treatment plant and their effects on receiving waters in Nanjing, China
Yu Chena,b,1, Weitao Shenb,c,1, Bo Wangb, Xin Zhaob, Lianghu Sub, Ming Kongb, Hui Lid, Shenghu Zhangb, Jiang Lia
College of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Guizhou University, Guiyang, 5500254, China.
Antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance determinants and human pathogens are new types of environmental pollutants that pose a great threat to human health. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are important sources of novel pollutants; however, few studies have investigated their impact on surrounding natural water. Therefore, this study used a WWTP as the entry point to explore WWTP removal efficiency of antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance determinants and human pathogens and further analyze the impact of WWTP effluent on receiving waters. The investigated WWTP had a good removal effect on fluoroquinolones, macrolides, lincomycin, sulfanilamide, tetracycline and chloramphenicol antibiotics in wastewater, and the concentration of antibiotics in the WWTP's effluent was reduced by >80% relative to the influent. In addition to cmlA, the effect of the WWTP on antimicrobial resistance determinants removal was poor, although the effluent from the WWTP had no effect on the abundance of antimicrobial resistance determinants in the receiving water. However, with the dilution of receiving water, the abundance of antimicrobial resistance determinants gradually decreased. The WWTP could reduce the abundance of bacteria by 1000 times from influent water to effluent water. The major bacteria in the influent and effluent were Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. After effluent is discharged into receiving water, Cyanobacteria proliferate in large quantities, which can affect the microbial structure in the environment.The abundance of Acinetobacter, which was the predominant potential human pathogen in local wastewater, decreased dramatically after wastewater treatment. We also conducted an ecological risk assessment of the antibiotics identified and found that the ecological risk AZM and CLR posed to aquatic organisms was high. Overall, we identified the efficiency of WWTP control of antibiotics, antimicrobial resistance determinants and potential human pathogens and the impact of WWTP effluent on receiving water and provided data to support the control of the investigated pollutants.
Keywords : Antibiotics, ARGs, Pathogens, WWTPs, Natural water.