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Accumulation of Clinically Relevant Antibiotic-Resistance Genes, Bacterial Load, and Metals in Freshwater Lake Sediments in Central Europe

Published inEnvironmental science & technology, vol. 49, no. 11, p. 6528-6537
Publication date2015
Abstract

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) receive the effluents from various sources (communities, industrial, and hospital effluents) and are recognized as reservoir for antibiotic-resistance genes (ARGs) that are associated with clinical pathogens. The aquatic environment is considered a hot-spot for horizontal gene transfer, and lake sediments offer the opportunity for reconstructing the pollution history and evaluating the impacts. In this context, variation with depth and time of the total bacterial load, the abundance of faecal indicator bacteria (FIB; E. coli and Enterococcus spp. (ENT)), Pseudomonas spp., and ARGs (blaTEM, blaSHV, blaCTX-M, blaNDM, and aadA) were quantified in sediment profiles of different parts of Lake Geneva using quantitative PCR. The abundance of bacterial marker genes was identified in sediments contaminated by WWTP following eutrophication of the lake. Additionally, ARGs, including the extended-spectrum ß-lactam- and aminoglycoside-resistance genes, were identified in the surface sediments. The ARG and FIB abundance strongly correlated (r ≥ 0.403, p < 0.05, n = 34) with organic matter and metal concentrations in the sediments, indicating a common and contemporary source of contamination. The contamination of sediments by untreated or partially treated effluent water can affect the quality of ecosystem. Therefore, the reduction of contaminants from the source is recommended for further improvement of water quality.

Citation (ISO format)
DEVARAJAN, Naresh et al. Accumulation of Clinically Relevant Antibiotic-Resistance Genes, Bacterial Load, and Metals in Freshwater Lake Sediments in Central Europe. In: Environmental science & technology, 2015, vol. 49, n° 11, p. 6528–6537. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01031
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ISSN of the journal0013-936X
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