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Sludge anaerobic digestion with high concentrations of tetracyclines and sulfonamides: Dynamics of microbial communities and change of antibiotic resistance genes

Bai, Yang, Xu, Rui, Wang, Qing-Peng, Zhang, Yan-Ru, Yang, Zhao-Hui
Bioresource technology 2019 v.276 pp. 51-59
anaerobic digesters, antibiotic resistance genes, community structure, enzymes, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, hosts, methane production, microbial communities, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal RNA, sulfonamides, tetracyclines
This study established two mesophilic anaerobic digesters to ascertain the microbial dynamics and variation characteristics of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) during sludge anaerobic digestion (AD) with high concentration of antibiotics. System parameters, microbial community, ARGs (tetA, tetM, tetW, sulI, sulII) and integrase gene of class 1 (intI1) were analyzed. General performance of AD showed methane production was inhibited by 17.1% under the pressure of antibiotics. Microbial 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing results showed the richness of microbial community decreased, but a higher diversity was found with antibiotics added. Furthermore, microbial community structure at genus level was significantly changed. Real-time quantitative PCR of several target genes demonstrated that the adjunction of high concentration of antibiotics exerted a significant induction influence on ARGs, however, the abundance of intI1 decreased observably. Correlation analysis showed intI1 only played a small role in ARGs’ transfer during AD, change of potential hosts was the key factor instead.