Antibiotic resistance in urban aquatic environments: can it be controlled?

Célia M. Manaia*, Gonçalo Macedo, Despo Fatta-Kassinos, Olga C. Nunes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last decade, numerous evidences have contributed to establish a link between the natural and human-impacted environments and the growing public health threat that is the antimicrobial resistance. In the environment, in particular in areas subjected to strong anthropogenic pressures, water plays a major role on the transformation and transport of contaminants including antibiotic residues, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and antibiotic resistance genes. Therefore, the urban water cycle, comprising water abstraction, disinfection, and distribution for human consumption, and the collection, treatment, and delivery of wastewater to the environment, is a particularly interesting loop to track the fate of antibiotic resistance in the environment and to assess the risks of its transmission back to humans. In this article, the relevance of different transepts of the urban water cycle on the potential enrichment and spread of antibiotic resistance is reviewed. According to this analysis, some gaps of knowledge, research needs, and control measures are suggested. The critical rationale behind the measures suggested and the desirable involvement of some key action players is also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1543-1557
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Database
  • Disinfection
  • Environment-clinical relationship
  • Risk assessment
  • Water treatment


Dive into the research topics of 'Antibiotic resistance in urban aquatic environments: can it be controlled?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this