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Proliferation of antibiotic resistance genes in coastal recirculating mariculture system

Wang, Jian-Hua, Lu, Jian, Wu, Jun, Zhang, Yuxuan, Zhang, Cui
Environmental pollution 2019 v.248 pp. 462-470
antibiotic resistance genes, antibiotics, aquaculture systems, bacteria, biofilters, breeding sites, coastal water, farms, feces, fluidized beds, mariculture, multiple drug resistance, wastewater treatment
The abuse of antibiotics has caused the propagation of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in aquaculture systems. Although the recirculating systems have been considered as a promising approach for preventing the coastal water pollution of antibiotics and ARG, rare information is available on the distribution and proliferation of ARGs in the recirculating mariculture system. This study firstly investigated the proliferation of ARGs in coastal recirculating mariculture systems. Ten subtypes of ARGs including tet (tetB, tetG, tetX), sul (sul1, sul2), qnr (qnrA, qnrB, qnrS), and erm (ermF, ermT) were detected. The absolute abundances of the ARGs detected in the mariculture farm were more than 1 × 104 copies/mL. The sulfonamide resistance genes (sul1 and sul2) were the most abundant ARGs with the abundance of 3.5 × 107–6.5 × 1010 copies/mL. No obvious correlation existed between the antibiotics and ARGs. Some bacteria were positively correlated with two or more ARGs to indicate the occurrence of multidrug resistance. The fluidized-bed biofilter for wastewater treatment in the recirculating system was the main breeding ground for ARGs while the UV sterilization process could reduce the ARGs. The highest flux of ARGs (6.5 × 1021 copies/d) indicated that the discharge of feces and residual baits was the main gateway for ARGs in the recirculating mariculture system to enter the environments.