Candidate biomarkers of antibiotic resistance for the monitoring of wastewater and the downstream environment

A. Margarida Teixeira, Ivone Vaz-Moreira, David Calderón-Franco, David Weissbrodt, Sabina Purkrtova, Stanislav Gajdos, Giulia Dottorini, Per Halkjær Nielsen, Leron Khalifa, Eddie Cytryn, Jan Bartacek, Célia M. Manaia*

*Autor correspondente para este trabalho

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares

16 Transferências (Pure)


Urban wastewater treatment plants (UWTPs) are essential for reducing the pollutants load and protecting water bodies. However, wastewater catchment areas and UWTPs emit continuously antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), with recognized impacts on the downstream environments. Recently, the European Commission recommended to monitor antibiotic resistance in UWTPs serving more than 100 000 population equivalents. Antibiotic resistance monitoring in environmental samples can be challenging. The expected complexity of these systems can jeopardize the interpretation capacity regarding, for instance, wastewater treatment efficiency, impacts of environmental contamination, or risks due to human exposure. Simplified monitoring frameworks will be essential for the successful implementation of analytical procedures, data analysis, and data sharing. This study aimed to test a set of biomarkers representative of ARG contamination, selected based on their frequent human association and, simultaneously, rare presence in pristine environments. In addition to the 16S rRNA gene, ten potential biomarkers (intI1, sul1, ermB, ermF, aph(3′’)-Ib, qacEΔ1, uidA, mefC, tetX, and crAssphage) were monitored in DNA extracts (n = 116) from raw wastewater, activated sludge, treated wastewater, and surface water (upstream and downstream of UWTPs) samples collected in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, and Portugal. Each biomarker was sensitive enough to measure decreases (on average by up to 2.5 log-units gene copy/mL) from raw wastewater to surface water, with variations in the same order of magnitude as for the 16S rRNA gene. The use of the 10 biomarkers allowed the typing of water samples whose origin or quality could be predicted in a blind test. The results show that, based on appropriate biomarkers, qPCR can be used for a cost-effective and technically accessible approach to monitoring wastewater and the downstream environment.

Idioma originalEnglish
Número do artigo120761
Número de páginas10
RevistaWater Research
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - 1 dez. 2023

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