Antimicrobial agents (antimicrobials) are a group of therapeutic and hygienic agents that either kill microorganisms or inhibit their growth. Their occurrence in surface water may reveal harmful effects on aquatic biota and challenge microbial populations. Recently, there is a growing concern over the contamination of surface water with both antimicrobial agents and multidrug-resistant bacteria. The aim of the study was the determination of the presence of selected antimicrobials at specific locations of the Vistula River (Poland), as well as in tap water samples originating from the Warsaw region. Analysis was performed using the liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry method. In addition, the occurrence of drug-resistant bacteria and resistance genes was determined using standard procedures. This 2-year study is the first investigation of the simultaneous presence of antimicrobial agents, drug-resistant bacteria, and genes in Polish surface water. In Poland, relatively high concentrations of macrolides are observed in both surface and tap water. Simultaneous to the high macrolide levels in the environment, the presence of the erm B gene, coding the resistance to macrolides, lincosamides, and streptogramin, was detected in almost all sampling sites. Another ubiquitous gene was int1, an element of the 5′-conserved segment of class 1 integrons that encode site-specific integrase. Also, resistant isolates of Enterococcus faecium and Enterococcus faecalis and Gram-negative bacteria were recovered. Multidrug-resistant bacteria isolates of Gram-negative and Enterococcus were also detected. The results show that wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) are the main source of most antimicrobials, resistant bacteria, and genes in the aquatic environment, probably due to partial purification during wastewater treatment processes.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 12, 2017
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