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Effect of ciprofloxacin on biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal from wastewater

Yi, Kaixin, Wang, Dongbo, QiYang,, Li, Xiaoming, Chen, Hongbo, Sun, Jian, An, Hongxue, Wang, Liqun, Deng, Yongchao, Liu, Jun, Zeng, Guangming
The Science of the total environment 2016
activated sludge, acute exposure, adverse effects, ciprofloxacin, denitrification, denitrifying bacteria, glycogen, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, long term experiments, nitrite reductase, nitrogen, phosphorus, polyhydroxyalkanoates, viability, wastewater
In this work, both short-term and long-term experiments were therefore conducted to assess the effects of ciprofloxacin (0.2 and 2mg·L−1) on wastewater nutrient removal. The results showed that both levels of ciprofloxacin had no acute and chronic adverse effects on the surface integrity and viability of activated sludge. Short-term exposure to all the ciprofloxacin levels induced negligible influences on wastewater nutrient removal. However, the prolonged exposure to ciprofloxacin decreased total phosphorus and nitrogen removal efficiencies from 96.8, 95.8% (control) to 91.7, 84.9% (0.2mg·L−1) and 90.5%, 80.2% (2mg·L−1), respectively. The mechanism study showed that ciprofloxacin exposure suppressed denitrification and phosphorus uptake processes. It was also found that ciprofloxacin affected the transformations of intracellular polyhydroxyalkanoates and glycogen in the oxic and anoxic stages. Moreover the activities of nitrite reductase and polyphosphate kinase were inhibited by the presence of ciprofloxacin. Further analysis with high-throughput sequencing revealed that compared with the control, the abundances of polyphosphate accumulating organisms, glycogen accumulating organisms and denitrifying bacteria in ciprofloxacin exposure reactors reduced, which were consistent with the decreased nutrient removal performance measured in these reactors.