Pharmaceutical wastewaters containing antibiotics and high salinity can damage traditional biological treatment and result in the proliferation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). Bioelectrochemical system (BES) is a promising approach for treating pharmaceutical wastewater. However, the fate of ARGs in BES and their correlations with microbial communities and horizontal genes transfer are unknown. In this study, we investigated the response of ARGs to bio-electrochemical treatment of chloramphenicol wastewater and their potential hosts under different salinities. Three ARGs encoding efflux pump (cmlA, floR and tetC), one class 1 integron integrase encoding gene (intI1), and sul1 gene (associate with intI1) were analyzed. Correlation analysis between microbial community and ARGs revealed that the abundances of potential hosts of ARGs were strongly affected by salinity, which further determined the alteration in ARGs abundances under different salinities. There were no significant correlations between ARGs and intI1, indicating that horizontal gene transfer was not related to the important changes in ARGs. Moreover, the chloramphenicol removal efficiency was enhanced under a moderate salinity, attributed to the altered microbial community driven by salinity. Therefore, microbial community shift is the major factor for the changes of ARGs and chloramphenicol removal efficiency in BES under different salinities. This study provides new insights on the mechanisms underlying the alteration of ARGs in BES treating high-salinity pharmaceutical wastewater.
Water Research – Elsevier
Published: Apr 15, 2018
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