Main content area

Antibiotic Resistome Alteration by Different Disinfection Strategies in a Full-Scale Drinking Water Treatment Plant Deciphered by Metagenomic Assembly

Zhang, Huaicheng, Chang, Fangyu, Shi, Peng, Ye, Lin, Zhou, Qing, Pan, Yang, Li, Aimin
Environmental science & technology 2019 v.53 no.4 pp. 2141-2150
Acidovorax, Acinetobacter, Hydrogenophaga, Methylocystis, Mycobacterium, Pseudomonas, antibiotic resistance, antibiotic resistance genes, antibiotics, beta-lactams, chlorine, disinfection, drinking water, drinking water treatment, hosts, interspersed repetitive sequences, metagenomics, ozone, risk
Disinfection regimes are considered the most solid strategy to reduce microbial risks in drinking water, but their roles in shaping the antibiotic resistome are poorly understood. This study revealed the alteration of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) profiles, their co-occurrence with mobile genetic elements (MGEs), and potential hosts during drinking water disinfection based on metagenomic assembly. We found the ozone/chlorine (O₃/Cl₂) coupled disinfection significantly increased the relative abundance of ARGs and MGE-carrying antibiotic resistance contigs (ARCs) through the enrichment of ARGs within the resistance–nodulation–cell division and ATP-binding cassette antibiotic efflux families that are primarily carried by Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, Mycobacterium, and Methylocystis, whereas the antimicrobial resin/chlorine coupled disinfection posed unremarkable changes to the ARG and MGE abundances. Moreover, the co-occurrence patterns of antibiotic efflux and beta-lactam ARGs and MGEs were widely identified, and ARCs carrying the recR and mexH genes were detected in all the samples, with the highest abundance of 2.25 × 10–² copies per cell after O₃/Cl₂ disinfection. Sequence-independent binning analysis successfully retrieved two draft ARG-carrying genomes of Acidovorax sp. MR-S7 and Hydrogenophaga sp. IBVHS2, further revealing the host-ARG relationship during O₃/Cl₂ disinfection. Overall, this study provides novel insights into the antibiotic resistome alteration during drinking water disinfection.