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Pharmaceuticals and personal care products alter the holobiome and development of a medically important mosquito

Pennington, Marcus J., Rivas, Nicholas G., Prager, Sean M., Walton, William E., Trumble, John T.
Environmental pollution 2015 v.203 pp. 199-207
Culex quinquefasciatus, acetaminophen, antibiotics, aquatic ecosystems, farms, freshwater, hormones, insects, larvae, microbiome, personal care products, rearing, runoff, wastewater, wastewater treatment, water pollution
The increasing demand for fresh water has forced many countries to use reclaimed wastewater for agricultural purposes. This water contains pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) that remain biologically active following passage through wastewater treatment plants. Run-off from farms and contaminated water from treatment facilities exposes aquatic ecosystems to PPCPs. This study examined the effects of PPCPs on a lower trophic organism. Culex quinquefasciatus larvae were reared in water contaminated with environmentally relevant concentrations of common PPCPs. Acetaminophen alone and a mixture of contaminants were found to increase developmental time of larvae. Susceptibility to Bti increased in larvae exposed to antibiotics, acetaminophen, or a mixture of PPCPs. Antibiotics, hormones, and the mixture altered the mosquito bacterial microbiome. Overall, the results indicate that at environmentally relevant concentrations, PPCPs in reclaimed water can have biologically important effects on an ecologically and medically important lower trophic level insect.