Dynamics of antibiotic resistance and its association with bacterial community in a drinking water treatment plant and the residential area

Fu-Yi Huang, Qing-Lin Chen, Xian Zhang, Roy Neilson, Jian-Qiang Su, Shu-Yi-Dan Zhou (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Drinking water treatment techniques are used globally in the context of water security and public health, yet they are not applicable to antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) contamination. Using high-throughput quantitative PCR, we analyzed the prevalence and diversity of ARGs and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in water supplies. A total of 224 ARGs and MGEs were detected in all sampling sites. Absolute abundance and detected number of ARGs decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in sand filter water after drinking water treatment and increased thereafter at point-of-use (household tap water). Changes in the composition and diversity of the bacterial community were observed in water samples at different steps. A significant correlation (P < 0.001) between microbial communities and ARG profiles was observed, and variance in ARG profiles could be primarily attributed to community composition (11.9%), and interaction between community composition, environmental factors and MGEs (30.7%). A network analysis was performed, and the results showed eight bacterial phyla were significantly correlated with nine different classes of ARGs, suggesting the potential bacterial host for ARGs. This study suggested that although the absolute abundance of ARGs decreased after treatment of drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs), the rebounded of ARGs in the water distribution system should not be neglected.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research International
Early online date17 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs)
  • High-throughput qPCR
  • Tap water

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