Exploring the antibiotic resistome in activated sludge and anaerobic digestion sludge in an urban wastewater treatment plant via metagenomic analysis

Keunje Yoo, Hyunji Yoo, Jangho Lee, Eun Joo Choi, Joonhong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are emerging contaminants that pose a potential threat to human health worldwide. Urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are a main source of both antibiotic-resistant bacteria and ARGs released into the environment. Nevertheless, the propagation of ARGs and their underlying mechanisms and the dynamics of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in WWTPs have rarely been investigated in South Korea. In this study, shotgun metagenomic analysis was used to identify comprehensive ARGs and their mechanisms, bacterial communities, and MGEs from 4 configurations with 2 activated sludge (AS) and 2 anaerobic digestion sludge (ADS) samples. A total of 181 ARG subtypes belonging to 22 ARG types were broadly detected, and the ARG abundances in the AS samples were 1.3–2.0 orders of magnitude higher than in the ADS samples. Multidrug and bacitracin resistance genes were the predominant ARG types in AS samples, followed by ARGs against sulfonamide, tetracycline, and β-lactam. However, the composition of ARG types in ADS samples was significantly changed. The abundance of multidrug and β-lactam resistance genes was drastically reduced in the ADS samples. The resistance genes of MLS were the predominant, followed by ARGs against sulfonamide and tetracycline in the ADS samples. In addition, plasmids were the dominant MGEs in the AS samples, while integrons (intI1) were the dominant MGEs in the ADS samples. These results provide valuable information regarding the prevalence of ARG types and MGEs and the difference patterns between the AS and ADS systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-130
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microbiology
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (No. 2018R1-A6A1A08025348).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Microbiological Society of Korea.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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